Most of us don’t like to think about death or loss very much.
But the truth is, we never really know when our time is up. Or when loved ones will leave us. Or when things we hold dear will change.
I’ve found that meditating on dying is actually an incredible tool for appreciating life.
Here’s what I do: find a comfortable, beautiful place to sit, like under a tree. And then just think about how amazing this gift of a day is.
You might not get a day like this again. What if this is it?
Sure, it’s a bit of a mind hack. Odds are, you’ll have many more days like this, many more years to enjoy on this earth.
But let’s pretend just for a few minutes that you don’t.
If you take something away from yourself for a while, like coffee or cuddles or certainty about living, then you get to play with that loss. Practice living without. See what comes up when you give yourself some discomfort.
Really imagine that it’s gone. Your life as you know it. Everyone you love. All about to be over.
Can you feel the loss? The emptiness? Maybe it hurts, or you want to fight against it, and maybe there’s a bit of relief in there too.
Push yourself to the edge of what you can handle, and sit there for a while. Get curious, discover what comes up for you.
Then bring it back.
You’re alive!! You have love around you. You have this amazing day to experience. It’s not all about to fall apart.
Soak in the comfort, the blissful appreciation of the smallest things. Was that flower there a minute ago? That breeze? The distant sound of a bell ringing?
From this state of gratitude, we can start to see things and people around us with more ease and open-heartedness.
Someone you love needs space from you? There’s no need to take it personally. Appreciate the gifts they have given you, and the chance to practice loving them no matter what.
You have an overwhelming amount of stuff on your plate right now? At least you have a plate, and you can work your way through it one bite at a time. See if there’s a way to ask for help.
You’re in pain? Give yourself extra love and compassion, realize other people are in pain right now too, find one small thing you can do in this moment to make your life a little bit easier. Breathe deeply, letting your exhales fade into emptiness and relax your whole body.
I hope your meditation on dying brings you a new sense of being alive.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu