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The purpose of this meditation is to abandon the laziness of attachment by remembering that death is inevitable and may happen at any time, and then to think about this in the light of actions and their effects.
I began by remembering that I will definitely die – there is nothing I can do to prevent my death. When I die, I will have to leave everything behind – my wife, my beautiful children, my Dharma books – everything.
I thought about how Geshe-la says that in Tibet there were beggars so poor that all they has was a stick to beat off dogs, and when death came they had to leave behind even this meagre possession.
I thought about how I must leave everything behind when I die, and how it makes no sense to be attached to my friends and family. I should love them with all my heart but always recognise that we will be parted in the end.
What is worth doing in this life if it is all left behind when we die? The practice of Dharma is worth doing because its effects last beyond death. I focused on this feeling of Dharma being the only thing worth really devoting my life towards, and felt a determination to make my life meaningful – I stayed with the feeling for a while.
I then thought about what actions and effects mean for this feeling. Clearly the fact that actions have effects is the whole basis for devoting my life to Dharma. Therefore I should devote my life to virtue because that will result in the best possible outcome for myself and others.
I returned to the thought of dedicating my life to Dharma, and practising as purely as possible. I stayed with this firm determination for the rest of the meditation.
May all living beings truly recognise that death is inevitable, and by so doing develop the wish to make their lives meaningful.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will try to remain mindful of death at all times today, and transform my life into the path to enlightenment.