The purpose of this meditation is to generate the determination to not waste this life on meaningless activities by remembering our mortality, and then to consider what this means in light of the advantages of cherishing others.
I began by engaging in breathing meditation. I gradually caught hold of my mind and gained more control over it until it was calm and still.
I then moved on the meditation itself. I began by reminding myself that I will definitely die. My death is just as inevitable as my next breath.
I don’t know when my death will come, and when it does, I will have to leave everything behind. My family, my friends, my projects and my possessions – they will all be left behind. I thought of a blog post I recently read from Kadampa Working Dad where he said that we should have a mind that recognises that it is leaving. Such a mind will not get caught up in attachment to meaningless things.
I imagined walking towards death at a steady pace. He was standing some way off in front of me. As I walked, I was casting seeds to my left and right. These were karmic seeds of virtue I was planting in my mind. Black smoke was also drifting off my body and rising in the air behind me, slowly disappearing into the distance. This was my non-virtue. I decided that as I lived my life, I should practice only virtue, and purify my negative karma.
I settled on the image of walking towards death without fear or hesitation, secure in the knowledge that when death comes, I will be a pure being. I focused on this aspiration and let my attention sink into it.
From there, I wondered what this means in light of the advantages of cherishing others.
All the happiness in the world comes from cherishing others, so by remembering that I will die I will be encouraging myself to practice purely and to purify my negativity – and a very effective way of doing this is to cherish others sincerely.
I imagined cherishing others on my journey to death, and making every day count. I stayed with this wish for the rest of the meditation.
May all living beings remember death and use this realisation to find the path to true lasting peace and happiness.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will remember death and try to avoid non-virtuous actions of body, speech or mind. I don’t have time for them.
The place I work at has a ‘Quiet Room’ for prayer etc. I found it today and did my meditation there. However, the room is a bit of a let-down. It was just a completely empty room – not even a chair! I’ll have to do something about that!