SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What do you understand by living 'as though we were already dead?' Can you share a personal experience of a time you were able to do this? What helps you see the impermanence of things without fallingÂ prey toÂ indifference?
To live as though already dead means to embrace every moment, every encounter, every person and experience as though it may be the last time. To have gratitude to live in the present moment worrying less, loving and enjoying more. There are many times life is like this for me, I think it may come from growing up with a suicidal father, i never knew when his moment might be his last and so I learned early on to appreciate the present moment because that might be all you have left. He died at age 47 when I was 22. That taught me that one can die young further cementing to live each day fully. I am now 49, when I surpassed my father's age it was a huge deal to me. Each day is precious. Each person is too. Here's to embracing each other and realizing the beauty in impermanence.
I had cancer four years ago and almost died twice because of the severity of the chemo. When I had a pulmonary embolism, I was face to face with death. It does make you allow honesty more, having faced the inevitable so closely. My life has changed immensely since then...a lot more honesty, many new friends and precious reflections on life and love. It's good to see the broken glass.
The presence of the present is the only Reality, the Truth and nothing but the Truth, and not to get attached to what is not in the present moment is the core message of the wisdom traditions. The challenge for me and for most of us is to stay fully in the present moment. When I bring the shadows form the past and the shadows of the future I disconnect myself with the flow of the present. It is relatively easy for me to flow in the river of the present when I give myself time to be still and remain awakened and aware of this ever presence of the present, I feel the fullness of the moment. It is non-conceptual, non-local and non-causal. I become the present. The I gets dissolved into the river of the eternal and universal flow of energy. This knowing and awareness has helped me to go through ups and downs with equanimity,peace, compassion and love. It has taken time for me to arrive at this place in my life. It is a blessing and I am deeply grateful to the teachers who have blessed me by showing the path.
May we be blessed by the beings who guide us on the path of light and love!
Jagdish P Dave
I don't like the notion of living as though we were already dead. We aren't dead. We are living and dying at the same time. Living and dying aren't dead. Living and dying are the life we have. I appreciate the impermanence of all that is, which means everything is always changing and nothing lasts, but impermanence doesn't mean we are already dead. I don' live as though already dead. I like to live alive. Seeing life for how it is helps me see the impermanence of things. Awareness that change is constant doesn't result in indifference but results in passion for living. I believe we are to live alive, with awareness that nothing is permanent and we are living and dying simultaneously which results in neither attachment to nor squandering of what is but in being present to and with what is.
A side-benefit of feeling suicidal occasionally is that the impermanence of life stares in my face. And ir works!
From the stoics to modern philosophers and from Yama's dialogue with Yudishthir to Shamanism, a rumination on our mortality is a great pathway to living every moment fully. We've banished death to dark corners and private discussions.
Perhaps, putting it into the center will allow us to experience the tenderness and impermanence of this moment! :)
I do this, the living as if I were already dead, with events which otherwise would be pregnant with expectation. I have had my fair share of being hurt by my best friends finding new best friends, and so now I enjoy, really enjoy the seconds I may spend with a stranger. I am deliberately choosing a new way of behaving inside and out.