Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/26/2017

Remembrance of Death


“Remembrance of death saves one from this world’s deceit.”
—Imam Ali (AS)

My wife and kids are away in Florida but are due to be back tonight. Whenever loved ones fly I am always anxious (this goes back to my childhood when my father would constantly fly all over creation). This time is no different except for the fact that I allowed my mind to expand upon what it would mean should there be a crash. In other words, I allowed myself to feel the pain of loss and separating and imagined how I would proceed.

You see, eventually we all must be separated from our loved ones. There is no denying or avoiding it. Saying it will be easier in the future is a hollow hope. How does loss strike you now that you’re an adult as compared to when you were a child? Is it easier? Harder? The same? You have to find these answers for yourself but there’s no escaping the dukkha of separation for an unenlightened one.

And yet, when it happens, how is it any different or more special than the losses faced by millions of parents and children? It helps to remember the stories of Patacara and Kisa Gotami and the advice of the Lord Buddha to them.

May I be gentle yet strong as an oak. May I honor all of my mothers, fathers and children from beginningless time by practicing rightly for ultimate liberation.

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ἀνέχου καί ἀπέχου.