Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/24/2019

Maranasati on the Way to Paradise

Right now I’m on the plane as we taxi on the runway waiting to take off. Over the years, my relationship to flying had evolved. When I was a young child I recall it being fun and novel. As I got older I developed a real fear of flying until the point that I actually chose to take busses instead of planes for a time during college.

Practicing the Dhamma has really helped me to get over the debilitating fear and, now with the help of Seneca and the Stoics, I’m at a place where the fear is outweighed by a desire to live, and die, well.

Death comes for us all. It is inescapable. Provided I live well by following the precepts, practicing the paramis and meditating as much as I can, what regrets will I have? If I die on this plane so be it and, in many ways, it would likely be an easier death than others which may await.

If I am to live long enough I may see one or all of my children die. If I live long enough I may find that the earth becomes uninhabital due to war, climate change or both. How much better a quick death faking fun the sky?

So, what is it that I really fear? Pain? Fear itself? Instead of allowing fear to take the reins, why not wrest control of my mind and body from its icy claws and be of use and service to myself and others? And, if I have really developed any bodhicitta, how can I aspire for bodhi while ceding to any fear; whether it be of death or hellfire?


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