death

Impermanence

Sogyal Rinpoche, Tibet

Death is a vast mystery, but there are two things we can say about it: It is absolutely certain that we will die, and it is uncertain when or how we will die. The only surety we have, then, is this uncertainty about the hour of our death, which we seize on as the excuse to postpone facing death directly. We are like children who cover their eyes in a game of hide-and-seek and think that no one can see them. For all its technological achievements, modern Western society has no real understanding of death or what happens in death or after death.

The Art of Living in the Wise Woman's Tradition

Kryta Deere, Canada

(Submitted by the author)

Shortly after Thanksgiving I buried my cat. Her brother had left two months earlier, after a long life of almost 20 years. They were my true companions and loyal friends, helping me over the most difficult but important period of my life and witnessing my transition from Mother and Career Woman into the stage of 'Wise Woman'.

Vedanta: Death and the Art of Dying

Pravrajika Brahmaprana, India

(Submitted by The Art of Living Team)

None of us can imagine ourselves ever ceasing to be. King Yudhishthira of Ancient India when asked, "What is the greatest wonder in the whole world?" replied: "That we see people dying all around us and never imagine that we too will die." Even when we fall asleep, our sense of self persists throughout our dreams. And upon awaking from dreamless sleep, we know who we are as soon as our feet touch the floor. This "I" is the thread of continuity that runs throughout our lives, from birth to death.

The Walk of a Mourner

Ruth Fogelman, Israel

Almost every day, I walk through the Arab suq to or from Jaffa Gate. But since my mother died, my walk has been different. Since, in the year of mourning (for a parent), a Jew does not receive presents, or buy one for oneself, I keep reminding myself of the fact that I have all I need.

Sogyal Rinpoche, Tibet

Buddhist teacher & founder and spiritual director of Rigpa, international network of Buddhist centers. Author of 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying'.

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