Friday, July 30, 2010

"Of all mindfulness meditations, that on death is supreme."

The next time you have to do an unpleasant task, consider the option of not being able to do it because you are no longer living. Taking out the garbage. Doing your taxes. Walking the dog. I suppose this way of thinking could be beneficial for a while but eventually would it lose its impact? Would you become complacent with the concept of death? I think that the consideration of death is an important, although admittedly morbid, practice. I wouldn't say that it is something that I think about often but every now and then a thought pops into my head...."someday I will cease to be..."

People have very different ways of dealing with the death while trying to live their lives - some people become obsessed while others ignore the inevitable completely. In "The Happiness Project" (I know, I know - enough with that book already!) the author examines her mortality by reading "memoirs of a catastrophe"; books based on the pain and suffering that others have survived. By doing so, the author found herself with a heightened appreciation for her "ordinary existence" as well as a "new and intense appreciation for her obedient body."
I find a similar type of peace in hearing stories of others lucky am I to be a free, healthy, intelligent woman living in this era, this country, this city? As I said, I am not one to dwell on the negative or obsess over death, but I do think it is important to put ourselves in situations that remind us of how lucky we are to be alive.

"Remember, friends, as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now, so you must be.
Prepare yourself to follow me."

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