Those who believe they have plenty of time get ready only at the time of death. Then they are ravaged with regret. But isn’t it far too late?
Isn’t it indeed?
Those words of the great Buddhist master Padmasambhava illustrate the point I was making on last week’s post, The Joy of Death. There were some fascinating thoughts on it. It’s tragic that so many people don’t really appreciate life until they’re at the point of dying.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to face death at a young age, not once, but twice. (Not to mention a few close calls in car accidents, and on the racetrack.) The first time was a deep spiritual experience, brought about by deep meditation, spiritual seeking, and prayer. The second was brought about by violence and anger, at the point of a gun. It took the second time for me to really learn the lesson.
I think for most people, how you face life has a lot to do with how you face (or avoid) death.
Many Buddhist masters ask only one question of potential students: Do you believe in a life after this one? They ask that question not to see if the potential student agrees with the philosophy of the afterlife, but rather, if they know it deeply in their heart.
The reason: They feel that someone who knows of a life after their current one will view this one much different, especially in terms, of their morality, and personal responsibility.
So what about you?
How do you view death? Do you use life to prepare for death? What about using death to prepare for life? Give that some real thought. And next post we’ll pick up on the subject of death and how we face it.