Every day as part of my spiritual practice, I remind myself that ‘death is real, it comes without warning; this body will be a corpse’. Remembering death makes us appreciate life. It reminds us that things change every moment, and so not to take anything for granted, especially the living beings in our life, because one day they won’t be with us anymore. We will leave them, either by our death or theirs. This may seem like a morbid way to think, but actually, apart from being the truth, it makes us truly appreciate everything. Our lives are richer if we live them with awareness of death. It is only through knowing death that we come to know life in its fullest. ‘Death is a mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected.” (Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, p11) I used to look at my dear cat, Prince George with the knowledge that, being a cat with a shorter lifespan than I, I would—accidents aside—outlive him. I used to watch him with this awareness … [Read more...]
How was your trip? A view from outside.
In New Zealand, where I was born, the young are expected to travel then return home with a broader perspective on life and a greater appreciation for their own country. It works—except that some of us decide that Australia suits us better and end up living there, as I do. But no matter where you travel, what your revised perception of your own country may be, and where you end up, travel gives you a different perspective, which if you contemplate on it, can give you greater insight into yourself and the human condition in general. This is one of the benefits of travelling. Usually we are so involved in the concerns of our life that we don’t consider how things are for others. Our own challenges totally consume us. Though it would be beneficial to do so, we don’t step back and look at our life from a more objective distance, but travel forces you to do that, at least to some degree. I sit now on the veranda of a Thai resort on my last day in Thailand and find that my holiday has … [Read more...]