When you are in the final minute of this crazy game of life, right before the buzzer goes off what will flash through your mind?
Your life might seem like it passed by in a foggy blur and like a slippery football you might sadly realize you fell short of catching the ball in many facets of the game. You know you could have been a better player, but now it’s too late.
The good news is there is one big thing that we can do right now to help us win the game.
We need to contemplate death.
This may sound a little – well, morbid, but stay with me.
From the moment we are born we begin our path to death. We don’t know when or how it will happen; we only know that it will happen. There is no benefit from denying this fact; every living being on the planet is going to face their own death within the next 100 years.
The reality is that death doesn’t have to be so scary; we can cultivate infinite beauty and happiness from examining our immortality.
Death is our teacher and from it we can learn about life.
Death teaches us the true value of life, in an instant our priorities become clear and change becomes easy. When contemplating death some of our previous priorities and problems can almost seem silly.
We find clarity in the saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff” and we appreciate our loved ones on an entirely new level.
Contemplating death teaches us to step out of the fog and begin living in moment. When our mind bounces from thought to thought, preparing for the future and reliving the past. We rarely stop to see the present. The problem with this is that these foggy moments can fill up most of our lives.
When examining death we also begin to contemplate our impermanence, and in doing so start to houseclean our unhealthy attachments to worldly possessions. Are you under the belief that our modern medicine and technology, your money, possessions or spiritual beliefs are going to save you? The fact is when we die none of these things matter anymore, our possessions, friends, enemies, goals and ambitions cease to exist immediately.
One thing however does remain untouched. And that thing is your inner light, the soul, your consciousness, the true base of your existence, the self – whatever you call it, it can’t be destroyed nor will it ever die.
Therefore by practicing virtues such as loving kindness, compassion, patience and gratitude we can truly ripen jovial seeds full of promise.
Accepting our impending death doesn’t mean giving up; quite the opposite, by acknowledging death you can begin to see the fragility and beauty of life, you can begin to take the steps to live a life of mindfulness.
You might think, “I’m too young to contemplate death.” You most of all should begin this process. You are so fortunate to be in a position to have no regrets when your time does arrive. Start early; begin living a mindful life right now!
You also might say, “I’m too old to begin this contemplation,” You most of all should be practicing. It is often said that your state of mind at death will predict your journey after this life. It’s never too late.
In other words, everyone should be contemplating death. No exceptions.
There are many things we can start doing today to help us live a more meaningful life, but I can’t think of one thing that will have a bigger impact on your quality of life then contemplating death. If anyone is interested in tips on how to meditate on death, please feel free to contact me through my blog or facebook.
Tina is a student of Buddhism, meditation and yoga. She writes about cultivating happiness through mindfulness at her own blog: Barefoot Beginnings. Tina lives near cottage country in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two dogs. Also a vegetarian and animal lover she enjoys photography, travel and nature. But mostly she’s just a free spirit trying to follow the path.