June 10 : The Certainty of Death

Death will definitely come and will quickly come. Should you neglect to train your thoughts again and again on such certainties you will grow no virtuous mind, and even if you do, it will be spent on the enjoyment of the glories of this life.

Death will definitely come. True. It is what we see all around us, and what we see in our own lives. But still, we have some resistance to this. Or we say, “Well, maybe it’ll come, but quickly? Absolutely impossible. I have too many things I want to do. There are so many things going on for me in my life. I’m too busy, I don’t have time to die. I’m involved in so many projects and have so many friends. I am so embedded in this world; how can I possibly die? Anyway, if I die all these people would protest, and surely, I would stay alive.” That is what we do, don’t we? We protest and then the situation changes.

The thing is that the Lord of Death does not wait. He does not care very much either. When it is time to die, goodbye. That is it. Convenient or inconvenient, it does not matter to him. It is time to go.

It is helpful to meditate on this — that death is definite, but the time of death is indefinite. This chips away any resistance we have. The only thing that will go with us when we die is our karma and mental habits, not our possessions, not our friends or relatives, and not our bodies. That means nothing can stop us from dying. Nothing can stop death when it is coming.

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