MEETING DEATH FROM THE UNKNOWN
There are many beliefs about what happens after death. Our culture and our religion loves to create all sorts of stories about the after-life, some heavenly and some hellish. As individuals we love the idea of re-incarnation, that there is a "me" that returns to a new earthly body and a new earthly life. And there are many individuals who come back from a near-death experience and report that there is indeed a realm beyond this material dimension that exists and in which I continue to exist (albeit it without a 3-D body).
And this is exactly the issue ... that the "me"-self, the individuation that I know myself as, clings to the continuity of experience. Anything other than that continuity is a death of all that is known. It is a death of all knowledge accrued over a lifetime, all concepts, all beliefs, all psychological structures that uphold a sense of "me". And this is an anathema to the self that believes itself to be a separate entity that has a life.
Death is, in fact, a great unknown. It is the greatest invitation to let go of all that is known, all that has been acquired, all that is held to, all that has been added to the shopping bag called "life". Death cannot be known by an unexamined mind, even though it is the unexamined mind that creates all the ideas of what happens when we die.
Death is an invitation for the unexamined mind to die. To be willing to meet death from the unknown ... in other words, the mind that is undefined by knowledge or imagination or belief or hope or fear.
And this death is available to us in every moment. In every moment we die and are reborn. Except that it doesn't seem that way to the unexamined mind that is holding on to the idea of continuity. This continuity, this idea that "I exist in time" is a comfort to the self. But it is not the truth, and it is not freedom. This holding on to continuity means we do not meet life in the freshness of what is, but in the overlay of our memories, our desires, our dreams, our regrets and resentments. This is not true living ... this is a kind of living death or dead living.
True life is what is available to us when we meet each moment from the unknown, from a mind that is not encumbered by the past or by the future. A mind that has examined itself and discovered that it's true nature is emptiness, is a mind that can truly discover death (and not simply think it knows what death is). A mind that discovers death also discovers life, a life that is eternal and not time-bound.
So we can begin right where we are ... by meeting each moment from emptiness. As Jesus said, "it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle". This has nothing to do with money or material wealth, but everything to do with the acquisitive nature of an unexamined mind!
Right here now, is the opportunity to enter the kingdom ... the pure presence of what is, without embellishment.
Right here now, is the opportunity to die and be reborn ... so that we can discover what is already free of the cycle of life and death.
~ Amoda Maa