My dad is dying. Arguably, we are all dying. My grandmother used to say, “the young may die, but the old must die.” I remember my first time stepping into a meditation center in 2010 for a lunchtime meditation session. I was hoping it would calm the inner rage over my racist boss and disappointing boyfriend. It turned out I was the only one who showed up for meditation that day, and the instructor said she had planned to do a meditation on death, but we didn’t have to if I didn’t want to. For some reason, I jumped at the chance. Yes, death! For me, thinking about death made me WANT to live MORE. It didn’t scare me, it made me realize my days are precious and numbered and I’d better hop to it!
It’s nearly nine years since then. In that time my mom passed away and now my dad is getting hospice care. Other family and friends have passed over the years as well, some far too young. This is nothing unique to my life. This is all of our lives. We all have an expiration date. The question is what will we do in the meantime? When I did yoga teacher training I realized how easy it would be to go through a whole lifetime without an awareness of body, breath or mind. I mean, who has time for that? We have to make a living, have fun, stay in shape and, perhaps, raise children.
I became Buddhist two years after that visit to the meditation center. In our tradition, we believe you take nothing with you at the end of your life except your subtle mind. You can think of that as your “soul” or “spirit” – that piece of yourself you get a glimpse of during deep meditation. You can’t take the money, the house, the cars or even the kids. You can only take the deep work you’ve done on your soul.
Take some time to work on your inner self. It’s the only thing that stands the test of time.
I wish you freedom, alignment and effortless abundance!