9 points to meditate upon death
9 points to meditate upon death
- sebastien grynko
You can decide to meditate on all 9 points in one sitting or one point per sitting or meditate on all 3 of the main points per sitting in three separate sessions. The choice is yours.
The beginning of the practice is no different from any other meditation practice. Sit in a position that is comfortable.
Let go of the past and future then bring your awareness to the present moment. Make an intention to keep your focus on the meditation object (death).
After that, you can say to yourself something like this :
“May this meditation help me gain wisdom and understanding to bring me and others closer to the end of suffering”
- The inevitability of death
Death comes to us all. It is not something we can avoid. It is something we have to face. Living a life where we avoid the question of death is pointless and counterintuitive. If death was something that happened only to a chosen few, pondering and dwelling upon it would not be necessary. However, we will ALL go through it at one point or another, therefore it is crucial for us to truly understand that we will ALL die.
1.a Everyone has to die
Death comes to us all. None of us are immortal. Passing away is not something we can avoid. It is something we have to face. Living a life where we avoid the question of death is pointless and counterintuitive. If death was something that happened only to a chosen few, pondering and dwelling upon it would not be necessary. However, we will ALL go through it at one point or another therefore it is crucial for us to truly understand that we will ALL die.
1.b Each moment is getting you closer to death.
When we celebrate each birthday we should silently tell ourselves that this is one year closer to death. Every month that passes is a month closer to death. Every week that passes is one closer to death. Everyday day that passes is one closer to death. Every moment that passes is one closer to death. Remind yourself of that to truly fathom that time is limited.
1.c The time you have for spiritual practice is limited.
Our time is limited and life takes a lot of time and energy for a lot of stuff that we need to do to live, to survive, to make a living,etc, etc… The spiritual practice time we have is limited that’s why we need to have a sense of urgency for matters that should be more of a priority such as spiritual practice.
2. The uncertainty of the time of death
2.a You don’t know when you will die
At any given moment any of us could die. Perhaps it is not likely that you will die tomorrow but it is definitely a possibility. To think that tomorrow or the day after is guaranteed is foolish. Remind yourself that death has its own schedule for us. Death comes whenever it wishes to come so let’s be ready.
2.b They are many ways you can die
They are countless ways we can die. Innumerable times we can die. Death will come when it wants to come but it will also come in a way that is unknown to us. Let us not forget that part too.
2.c The human body is very fragile
Our bodies are strong, in a sense that we can survive a lot and do a lot during our lifetime but paradoxically our bodies are incredibly fragile as well because it would not take much for us to lose our lives. On a daily basis, if you were to count all the ways you could die, you would not be able to stop counting because there are just too many ways you could die.
3. Spiritual practice is your only salvation
3.a Your loved ones cannot help
We come to this world alone and we will leave this world alone. That’s the truth. We tend to believe that we are surrounded by people but in reality we are alone at the beginning and at the end and if we are completely realistic we are alone most of the time in between. Death happens to us all but death is to be faced alone and nobody will be there to save you or to help you when it comes knocking at your door.
3.b Your possessions and enjoyments cannot help
Whatever you own and whatever fun you have had with what you have gained in life will not come to your aid when you pass. As they say, you can’t bring anything with you to the afterlife. The only two things you will keep with you at that time is your stream of consciousness and the karma (good or bad) that comes along with it.
3.c Your own body cannot help
Each passing moment your body is deteriorating. You might not see it, you might not feel it but it is true nonetheless. As they say, each glass has a crack even though it might be small. It won’t be long until the glass breaks altogether.
I am reading what I just wrote and it does feel a bit morose. I guess it’s difficult in the West to talk about death without having a bit of a stigma. My words, however, are not here to sadden nor cause any form of anxiety and fear. Death is inevitable but we need not see it as something bad. It is what it is as they say.
We have to not only accept it but embrace it. If we understand death it will be easier to understand life. By understanding that life comes to us all and potentially at any given moment. We can value its meaning and its preciousness. We can live our lives with more of a sense of urgency and prioritize what truly matters so that when death comes. We are ready, calm, collected, and have faith that the karma we have is mostly good and we let death take us to a better place without any regret of leaving this current life because we have done our best.
- sebastien grynko