Acceptance Brings Awareness of Impermanence:
Thinking and contemplating the impermanence of life, and our own death can help us move into a place of peaceful acceptance.
If we can get to that place, into those experiences, we can truly realize what it feels to be human. We can embrace the aging process, the possibility of illness and eventually our own death.
When we move closer to the experience, we learn from the people who’re dying. We feel grateful for where we’ve come and how much we’ve lived through. We can try to live well, forgive and be a little more compassionate towards others.
When we see our loved ones, we realize that we won’t have them forever. So, we love them more. We can endure a little more for them. And it moves us to give more. Infact, contemplating death might be a great motivator.
When we begin talking about the impermanent nature of life, we do our loved ones a favor too. We can set our priorities right for whatever time we’ve left. We can help them understand what our wishes are during life and after we’re gone. It gives you a chance to express to your friends and family how you want to be remembered.
On Living And Dying:
Here’s the summary of the book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
Life can be used to prepare for death. Death is a mirror; where the entire meaning of our lives is reflected. We must all aspire to live and die without any regrets. When we physically die, our ordinary mind and its delusions die with us.
The effects of denying death will ravage our very life when we are alive. We must live in the possibility of astounding and boundless freedom to work while we live our best each day. There’s a Tibetan saying that, A pigeon keeps setting up her bed and fussing about it, and dawn arrives and she realizes she had no time to sleep.
Realization of impermanence is the only paradoxical possession that we can hold onto. All the physical things we’ve accumulated will be exhausted.
A mother visits Buddha to tell him about her grief of losing her son. Buddha tells her to do something and come back. He asks her to bring a single mustard seed from any house where there has been no death in the family. The point is, grief can make us blind and make us think that we’re the only ones to suffer in the world.
The Need For Spiritual Pursuits:
Imagine what the knowledge her impending death would have given a cancer patient? It must have given her humility and the ability to come to terms with her own mortality. It would have given her the depth of her inner strength and her priorities in the life that’s left in her.
A tale like this helps us understand that we cannot neglect our spiritual needs. Because that spiritual pursuit can give us the strength of character when our world is shaken with grief due to illness or death of our loved ones. And more importantly, why not think about death with retrospection while you are happy and not sad and death is staring into your face.
Contemplation of death leads to renunciation. Because, in our naivety, we hold onto things and people. We don’t realize that people and circumstances change, and grasping is the source to all our problems. We must learn to let go because of the transitory nature of things. Good things will happen and go and so will bad things come and go.
Works Cited: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
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About The Article Author:
I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté.
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Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents
CLARITY - A Pillar of FutureSTRONG Academy
Our children will one day face the real world without our support. Academic development is not the only skill they will need in the real world where people skills like taking the lead, emotional intelligence and a strong moral compass will determine who will shine. So, as parents who want to raise well rounded adults, we want to give them the right tools for their personal development.
Here is CLARITY as described as the 6 C’s of Future STRONG.
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