"When a person balances out in one's daily equations what is dying against what is opening out from within, one becomes a free human being who existentially discovers in time the secret of immortality." — The Aquarian Almanac

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November 7, 2015 Theme for Contemplation: Preparation for Death

” From birth until the present moment,

Life was squandered in futile plans.

Lost in endless prejudged works,

When death comes, you jump — too late.”

– The VIIth Dalai Lama

November 8, 2015 Theme for Contemplation: Preparation for Death

” One should be mindful of death in that one realizes one will not tarry long in this life; one should consider the incarnations to which fascination can lead and thereby turn the mind away from focus on this life.”

— Tsong-Kha-Pa

When one contemplates the vast duration of time human beings have been evolving on this planet according to the Secret Doctrine, and consider the extraordinary number of lives we each must have lived during this period it certainly makes this lifetime seem brief.  As one grows older the whole enterprise takes on the feeling of a short journey.  Knowing that death of this body and personality is an inevitability certainly gives demand to the notion of preparing for death.

So how does one prepare?

Hope does our 24 hour cycle relate to our death? To examine our day as we do at death. "At the solemn moment of death no man can fail to see himself under his true colours...our good and bad actions are the only tools with which we paint our likeness at death, for the new man is invariably, the son and progeny of the old man that was. NOTES FROM LUCIFER.

Every day is an opportunity to build a better instrument.

So are your saying to practice little deaths, the kind that happen each night when we go to sleep?

Ah, sleep. A great key here Gerry.

It has been stated that this process is very similar to the process of death.

November 9, 2015 Theme for Contemplation: Preparation for Death

” So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

— Psalms

“Death comes to our spiritual selves ever as a deliverer and a friend.”

— H.P. Blavatsky

“No man knows when the hour will strike. But he has to be ready.”

— W.Q. Judge

The deliverer and a friend idea comes to mind here.

Thank you for this reference.  I found it helpful.  Would you mind pulling out an idea or two from this that struck you the most and would help the group with this topic.  It is a very rich selection and many will not have the time to read it all.

November 10, 2015 Theme for Contemplation: Preparation for Death

” When the five vestures have been stripped off, the Self shines forth pure, the one essence of eternal bliss, beheld within, supreme, self-luminous.”

— Shankaracharya

” He who possesses, let him learn to lose,

He who is fortunate, let him learn pain.”

— Johann Schiller

You might say that meditation is a form of self-conscious dying, it is a conscious effort to leave the limitations of the personal mind.

If by meditation you mean the effort to transcend the concerns of the personality and place the mind on something universal.

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Permalink Reply by barbaram on November 14, 2015 at 2:29pm

Tamiko:

Yes, some meditation practice does teach the practitioner to consciously recede from the outer through the subtle sheaths back to the Self.  It is like a form of self-conscious dying.  I just had never thought of it this way.    Thank you for the wonderful insight. 

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on November 11, 2015 at 6:29pm

We hear, or perhaps some have heard, that it is not the body which is the cause of death.  The failure of internal organs or the slowing heart etc. are effects caused by constant wear and tear.  

Just like a child becomes exhausted after hours of playful activity, modifications of Matter (upadhis etc.) become exhausted when it is enmeshed with Spirit- the Eternal Ray of Life.  It is the Fire which reduces all to ashes.  

Death occurs to one who has identified with anything but Life- yet it is this Life which is the cause of death.  Of corse, we can all say this is fine and good until we are faced with the most obvious of all outcome. Consciously dying, I believe is a start, perhaps a chance as it were for some profound realization at the 11th hour.  Though, some might not be very fortunate to get this blessing.  

Life has no lapse in continuity.  It is Eternal and forever unbroken. 

Meditations and contemplations on topics found in key texts like the Bhagavadgita, Secret Doctrine, and many others, only aid our understandings.

Permalink Reply by Alex Papandakis on November 12, 2015 at 10:40am

If death is like sleep then what is the best way to prepare for sleep?

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on November 12, 2015 at 1:01pm

" what is the best way to prepare for sleep?"

Some say by washing of the face and brushing the teeth : ).  (I couldn't resist)

When one begins to sleep, the consciousness becomes withdrawn from the physical senses, hence the sleeping body.  When this is done, the awareness travels into the subtle senses and impressions held in the subconscious mind.  There are defiantly grades.  Upanisadic texts mention 3 stages of matter/consciousness (or avasthas; jagrat, svapna, and susupti) each subdivided in fourths.  

The one thing I detect that separates death and sleep from yoga is the latter has to do with conscious activity and individual efforts.  Sleep is a lulling of the mind and death might be painful and abrasive, thus concentration is often lost.  Consciously watch the bodies pass through consciousness, in sleeping or death, and one is on their way to becoming yoked to the Eternal through Yoga. 

Note what Sri Krsna states in the IX.18-19;

गतिर्भर्ता प्रभुः साक्षी निवासः शरणं सुहृत् । प्रभवः प्रलयः स्थानं निधानं बीजमव्ययम्।। तपाम्यहमहं वर्षं निगृह्णाम्युत्सृजामि च । अमृतं चैव मृत्युश्च सदसच्चाहमर्जुन।।

I am the Goal, the Sustainer, the Lord, the Witness (साक्षी) the Abode, the Shelter and the Friend, the Origin, Dissolution, and State (स्थानं), The treasure-house, the Seed Imperishable.

I give heat, I hold back and send forth rain, I am the immortality as well as death existence and non-existence, O Arjuna.

Many traditions hold that the last thought of an individual colors the initial experience of the after death stages.  Likewise, our exceptional daily experiences often finds a way into our dreams.  Being aware of this, one might recognize it to be all just the panorama of the mind-matter relationship.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on November 14, 2015 at 2:07pm

Mr Judge recommends that the students read something spiritual before going to bed;  it would take the students to a loftier plane when they go out of the waking consciousness.  This is similar to the emphasis we see on the last thoughts at the time of death. 

Permalink Reply by Alex Papandakis on November 16, 2015 at 12:28pm

I find both of your suggestions wonderfully helpful.  Thank you.  Getting the mind into the right state before sleep makes so much sense.  Reading something that elevates the spirit  the spirit sounds wise to me.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on November 12, 2015 at 12:10pm

November 12, 2015 Theme for Contemplation: Preparation for Death

” If one, while alive, can be like the body, which experiences no pleasure and pain after life extinct, he will rest in absolute bliss.”

— Valmiki

” As a corpse has no likes and dislikes, no sensibility to pleasure and pain, even so he who though alive is dead to these, he truly lives, he is truly happy.”

— M. K. Gandhi

Permalink Reply by Sheila West on May 1, 2016 at 2:44pm

I'm not sure if you wish me to comment here -

Death comes like a fall of a leaf from a tree. When all is achieved and the spirit is willing to depart then it is time.  As the leaf flutters so the thread is broken.  I watched its gentle release and saw the peace.    

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on May 2, 2016 at 1:21pm

Sheila it is perfectly alright to comment on a discussion from the past.  This is one of the reasons we keep them up.  People might have thoughts about something down the road from the discussion.  In that sense these discussions are not time bound.   We appreciate your thoughtful contribution.  "When death comes, it comes as a deliverer and a friend."  I believe these are Mr. Judge's  words.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on November 13, 2015 at 3:41pm

November 13, 2015 Theme for Contemplation: Preparation for Death

“Is not spiritual philosophy the practice of death?” — Plato

“Have perseverance as one who doth for ever more endure. Thy shadows live and vanish; that which in thee shall live for ever, that which in thee knows, for it is knowledge, is not of fleeting life: it is the Man that was, that is, and will be, for whom the hour shall never strike.”

— The Voice of the Silence