Are you afraid to die? I like to think that I am not, that at most I fear the physical pain that might be a part of dying more than death itself. Deep down though, there is still some fear. Life is all we know, and death is, at the very least, a dramatic change, and at worst non-existence. (Sure, hell could be worse, but that is another conversation.) I think that in some way we all fear annihilation.
This is another reason that meditation is so important. With the silence that comes from meditation you learn to simply exist. Everything else falls away and you are left with just yourself. The world with all its worries, your ego with all its insecurities, the past with all its pain, and the future with all its anxieties. All you are left with is yourself in the moment. It is here you discover your soul.
Once you come to that place and face the reality that is your soul, your life beyond your body and thoughts, the real you, you will find that your soul is not separate. It is a part of something bigger, something that is a part of everything and everyone. Something eternal.
Meditation is a journey beyond mere existence, it is a journey to our soul. To our own unique being, to the core of who and what we are. The beauty of the Christian revelation is that we know the journey is into the heart of being itself, God. The one who made us who we are.
What I mean by all this is that the silence of meditation we get a taste of what the transition of death is like. The temporary fades away for a moment and all that is left is the eternal. It is most important that we make this journey because it teaches us not to be afraid. Fear paralyzes, fear can make animals of us, but love sets us free. We must make this journey so we can experience for ourselves life beyond ourselves, and into God, who is absolute love.
All that sounds fine, but it is vital that we know it. To know it we have to experience it for ourselves. This isn’t the kind of knowledge that comes from reading. It doesn’t come from going to Church either. You have to do it yourself. You have to make time to pray and meditate everyday. You have to build it into your schedule. I suggest 30 minutes every morning and every evening. Can’t do it for that long, start with 20. The important thing is to do it. Sit comfortably with your back straight. Breath deeply. Say your mantra in your mind. Listen to it as you say it. Give it all your attention. Try and not think about anything else. You will of course, but once your realize you are thinking just stop, say to yourself “I’m thinking” and go back to your mantra. The important thing is to sit still the entire time, and think of nothing but your mantra. Simply sit still, loving and being free.
Living and dying is the destiny of us all. We must live well, but we must also die well.