The purpose of this meditation is to generate an understanding of what death means to this life.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation and then settled down to thinking about death in general and my death in particular.

Everyone dies. No-one alive today is immortal. No-one in the past has ever been immortal. Why should I be any different? I shall definitely die. I let that thought sink in for a while.

gravestoneThen I thought about when I shall die. Although I accept that I will die, I cannot imagine that it will be any time soon. I will probably die when I am very old. Or so I would like to believe. But there is no guarantee that I will live to my old age. Disease, illness or accident could kill me very soon. One of my friends was diagnosed with brain cancer and was dead in 4 months.

I thought – I may die today, I may die today. I kept thinking this thought, and slowly a very clear feeling arose. It was a feeling that meant that nothing in this life really matters except my practice of Dharma. All my possessions will go when I die. All the people I know will go when I die. My physical presence will leave this world when I die. After a few years there will not even be a trace of me in this world. All the things I think matter so much, and occupy so much of my attention – they will all go. How can they be so important if they can vanish so completely?

The only thing that matters is making my life meaningful, and the only way to do that is through Dharma practice. I was filled with a wish to single-pointedly concentrate on my Dharma practice. I kept that feeling for the rest of the meditation session.

Dedication

May all living beings realise that they will die one day, and understand how to make their lives meaningful.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember how everything will completely end when I die, and instead see the Dharma in everyday life.