A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Is death a problem?



     Is death a problem?
     No, death is a natural and sacred occurrence.
     It is the way of all form to vanish.

     Only the mind makes up a story that death is bad.

     Why not question this story?
     I'm sure I will weep and feel intense agony when my loved ones die.  I will likely feel fear and great sadness when I approach my own death, and this is fine.  All of these feelings are fine, and they don't make death a problem.

~

13 comments:

Alton said...

This is a story~ the life of the dead
I awoke in a casket like lying in bed

It's so cold in here so I wont get rotten
I'd be warmer in wool instead of this cotton

Later that day I was buried asunder
Cremation is better, I made a big blunder

They started eating like there's no precondition
You worms should really have asked my permission

Soon there was nothing except skeletal bone
Can this be a body that I called my own

There is nothing of interest except waiting for Jesus
How long to be here till he comes to please us

I shared all this with you so you wont get scared
Cause no one that's living will ever be spared

Colleen Loehr said...

That's quite a story Alton. I will never be a dead body, because when the body is dead I won't be there. The body is like a husk and the energy of life is separated from the husk at the time of death. What happens to that freed energy nobody knows and I don't spend much time speculating about something I won't know about until it happens.

Alton said...

Hi Colleen:
Most of it was my weird sense of humor. The last line says it all.

The sages say we were not born and therefore there is no death for any of us.
We'll all see what happens then. Maybe the Tibetans are right when they say we will attend our funerals.

Blessings,
Alton

Susannah said...

Life and death are but two sides of the same line - both natural occurances, Life leads to Death as Day leads to Night - Wakefulness leads to Sleep. . .we leave this waking life willingly every night and enter the world of sleep.

I am sure (from experiences I have had) that the energy leaves the shell of the body at death - what then? who knows - but whether it is nothing or something, it will be right and natural.

I hope that my Death comes after a long full life and that it will be a welcome event that I will consciously and willingly surrender to.

This is a subject that most people feel uncomfortable with - but that is something we all experience - just another stage in the journey.

Nice post Colleen. :-)

Colleen Loehr said...

Thank you Alton for your comments. I have also heard we are never born and never die. It's heartening that sages are able to see this, although I am not able to understand this. Namaste, Colleen

Hi Susannah, It's an excellent point that in dropping off to sleep each night we "disappear" into a kind of death. I have a feeling there are many parallels between going to sleep at night and dying. I think that many fears stem from an underlying fear of death, and it is normal and protective to have some fear of death. However an excessive fear of death leads to clinging and phobias and a constriction internally that interferes with the flow of life energy. Avoiding the topic of death only reinforces the fear of death. In contemplating death and seeing that death is natural I feel less fear of it.

I am interested in the experiences you have had that have led to your knowledge that energy leaves the shell of the body at death. Have you written about these experiences on your blog? Please let me know which post if you have so I can read it. If you haven't shared these experiences on your blog, perhaps you will be inspired to do so at some point.

I also share your vision for the possibility of death being a welcome event that can be consciously and willingly surrendered to. In fact yesterday Eckhart said that he is thinking of starting a center where terminally ill people can come to experience the sacred nature of death.

Thanks so much for your comments Susannah, I value your sharing very much. Colleen

roseduncan said...

I would like to think that there is a way to accept death naturally. Unfortunately I haven't seen that happen with loved ones. I think we're simply afraid of what we don't know. A lot of my time is spent thinking about how to stop controlling things around me, since nothing is really controllable . . . death is the ultimate leveler, you just can't control it.

Triza said...

The poem is truly inspiring.Thanks for sharing...

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Naomi,
"Death is the ultimate leveler, you just can't control it." Well put, and that is a fact worth taking to heart. I also am becoming more conscious of my habitual tendency to want to control things- especially wanting to control my own feelings and other people's feelings, as well as events- and how much exhaustion and unhappiness this manufactures in my life, and in other people's lives. The moments when efforts to control are relinguished are joyful and invigorating, and slowly I am finding a deeper part of myself that is able to release the habit of trying to be controlling. Thank you very much for your thoughts Naomi, I always find it heartening to sense I am on the same page, so to speak, in many ways with another human being, and this is how I feel when I read your comments. P.S. I hope you may start another blog (maybe on dealing with the addiction to control...) now that "Surviving Amelia" is in a kind of incubation stage (waiting to hear back from publishers).

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Triza,
Thank you so much for your comment. All my life I have sort of assumed that death is a sort of tragedy or enemy. I know you are a fellow student of the excellent teachings of Byron Katie, and I have found it liberating to identify and question some of my unexamined and largely unconscious assumptions about death. Maybe death will snatch me up today, maybe in thirty years or more, but I breathe easier as part of me senses that death is not a bad thing. I enjoy life more when I don't view death as an enemy. And it's still okay for me to be afraid of death, there's nothing wrong with that.

Triza I love these blogs that allow us to communicate- you in Nairobi Kenya, and me in Missouri US. Life is truly an adventure full of surprises. Thank you so much for being here.

Alton said...

Hi Triza and friends:

The Tibetan masters have studied the death process for centuries. On this blog we never try to convince anyone of something they don't believe. Here we share ideas.
I want to share this link about the Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on Death and Rebirth.
http://www.buddhanet.net/mag_dy.htm

Best wishes,
Alton

nothing profound said...

It seems to me the best approach to death is to simply save it for the end. Anything else is just a thought or feeling about death, an invention of the mind. It's fun to speculate about it, and I write about it often, but one shouldn't confuse one's imagination with reality.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Alton,
Thank you for the link to the article, I have read part of the article and it is EXCELLENT!

Hi nothing profound,
Not confusing one's imagination with reality is something that interests me enormously. In fact, the whole orientation of life these days seems to be towards slicing fantasy from reality- it's this delicate process of extrication, as imagination and reality have become so intertwined and nearly indistinguishable from each other.

For example, I have thought the ego to be me, to be reality, when in fact it is imagination. Fortunately there is this laser-like capacity of seeing (that has been largely atrophied from disuse) that begins to wake up from the all-encompassing realm of mental-fantasy-land. Thank you so much for your on-the-money-honey comment!

Triza said...

Colleen,
Isn't that amazing?I am truly inspired by the posts and the information shared on this blog.It's truly amazing to see how inspite of being world's apart we share the same love and inspiration.

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Greetings. I am a psychiatrist working at a state hospital, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Missouri Medical School. I am also a wife and mother of three grown children. Qigong has profoundly changed my life for the better. I am interested in connecting with other people interested in qigong.

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