Monday, December 14, 2009

A Secret

I learned a secret this weekend. It is difficult to comprehend it. This secret will change your life if you deeply hear it, learn it and incorporate it into your life.

You are going to die.

That was the teaching I learn from one of my most profound teachers this weekend. We had a class on death… our own death. We confronted Death - I am going to die -you are going to die.

So ask yourself this question: “What are you going to do with your one wonderful, wild, and precious life?” Mary Oliver asked that question.

Death is our one common denominator, along with birth. We all are born and we all die. Everything alive in this moment will die, fade away and nothing will remain. Knowing that, takes us to a place of compassion for everything else that is living. We will all experience our own death, knowing this creates a realization of compassion in our hearts if we will allow it blossom.

By my calculations, I have about twenty-five to thirty productive years left in my life, if I’m lucky. Knowing that I am going to die changes an awful lot, doesn’t it.? I should be happy now, not tomorrow or next week… but, now. Knowing that I am going to die and that you are going to die, makes me want to extend my hand to comfort and to receive comfort. It is our commonality. Knowing that I am going to die makes me want to make a difference in someone’s life, it doesn’t matter if it is just one person or ten million people. Making a difference in just one person’s life is like planting a tiny seed of love within another human being’s heart.

From that one seed, an entire forest may grow.

Life is meant to be lived. Wake up! Do something wonderful today. Take flying lessons, take a walk in the park, give a homeless man a buck, start a non-profit to help the uninsured, find the path to world peace. It doesn’t matter what it is that you do, just live your life.

Never, ever, deny yourself something with the thoughts of, “Well, maybe next year…” There may be no next year. Today is the day to live.

When I was in my late twenties, I had awful nightmares. I was newly married, life was good and I was pretty content and happy. Then these nightmares started. I would dream that I was in my grave and my body was rotting and putrid. There were worms and everything else. I wasn’t witnessing it as it is in most dreams, I was living it. I would wake up in a sweat, crying. I think I dreamed this dream every four or five nights for about six months. They stopped as suddenly as they started and I never knew what the cause was. I don’t believe I ever told anyone about them since they were such horrifying dreams. I really thought I was crazy.

I thought about those dreams quite often for years. What I learned from them was, and this knowing took quite a few years for it to sink in, of my own impermanence; that all of life is impermanent. Everyone I know and love will die. I will die, my body will rot and I will not be here. From that I learned to love life and to just sit and take it all in, right now.

This lesson also gave me a sense that there is far more to life than just my physical body. I am not my body. My body is my vehicle, but there is more to me than just this body. I am beyond my body. I am.

I’m not always successful in remembering this lesson, but I have tried. Saturday was a good reminder to live life now, not tomorrow or next Tuesday, but now.

Learn this secret and you too will live your life to the fullest in service to others, because giving to another living being is the surest way to really feel alive!

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