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Archive for April 25th, 2012

How very sweet of you Wendy! You are very kind and I appreciate the Beautiful Blogger Award! I enjoy reading your blog and love how our interests are so complimentary. Here’s to many happy years to come of sharing wisdom, peace, and community. Metta, Jennifer

The Calm Monkey

Beautiful Blogger awardThe Versatile Blogger AwardI’m humbled for the 5th & 6th times to receive two more blog awards, one called The Beautiful Blogger and the other called the Versatile Blogger Award.  Thank you to James of The Way Home who lives in London and has a great blog about thoughts of love, light and being, and Anne Sture Tucker who lives in beautiful British Columbia, Canada as I do and writes a great blog about healthy living. I value receiving both awards, thank you.

I’m honouring both awards in this one post.

The rules of the Beautiful Blogger award are:

  1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back
  2. Nominate five blogs
  3. Let your nominees know by leaving a comment on their sites
  4. Copy and paste the award image on your site.

The rules of the Versatile Blogger award are:

In a post on your blog, nominate 7 fellow bloggers for The Versatile…

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All of us will die sooner or later

Ironically, my first night of sitting in contemplative silence, meditating on this assertion, All of us will die sooner or later, with what feels like the start of the flu.

We have a fragile, impermanent existence. . . and illness, pain, aging all are like mindfulness bells ringing to remind us to be present here and now because we have nothing more than the present moment!

I got on my cushion in the evening and tried to get comfortable.  I was wrapped up in a blanket to keep warm.  I keep my apartment on the cold side because I find it helps with things like inflammation and pain.

I chuckled to myself that my hands were as cold as a corpse, so maybe that was a good sign for sitting with this true reality of impermanence.  And I sat with my skull mala in my hands, hoping that would ground me to the experience.

All of us will die sooner or later. . .

I’ve often wondered, out loud and to myself, if in our bliss to find our life partners, we stopped to ponder that one day one of us would die and the survivor would be left to mourn, how many of us would really go through the pain of love?  Could we even ponder this every day of a relationship and still be able to be loving?

Like someone once said, I’m not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be present to my dying.  I have to imagine that most people have a hard time thinking of their loved one dying.  It’s not a pleasant thought and it certainly feels like a lonely thought.

All of us will die sooner or later. . .

I’ve done the Nine Contemplations as a meditation series for myself before this time.  I’m always amazed at the richness that comes with it, however, when I am sick and doing the meditations.

It’s one thing to say you have an awareness of aging and dying. . . it’s another thing when your breathing is labored and you don’t have the energy to get yourself out of bed for a glass of water or juice.

My cold hands clutched the skull mala that I own.  I use it when I do meditations on dying.  As the turquoise carved skulls go between my fingers and as my back gets a little achy from trying to hold it upright while sitting on the cushion (when all I want to do is be in bed), I think to myself. . . I wonder what’s really the harder thing to do . . . living or dying. . .

All of us will die sooner or later. . .

there is no getting around it.

there is no hiding from it.

From our literature to our movies, we are constantly reminded that we will say goodbye. . .

not in a sappy love song sort of way though. . .

but in an unraveling of the spirit from the mortal flesh. . .

a pulling away of light from our neurotic grasping. . .

a severing the deep ties to all that we are attached to in this life as we re-enter the world of no-thing-ness.

All of us will die sooner or later.

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“Contrary to popular belief, or perhaps from wishful thinking — because of our own discomfort with death — dying people know they are dying, even if no one else knows or has told them.  They attempt to share this information by using symbolic language to indicate preparation  for a journey or change soon to happen.  Travel is a clear metaphor often used to describe this need to go forth — to die.

Many accept this knowledge of their impending death without anxiety or fear, but may need validation or information about what the dying will be like.  Some experience apprehension, often due to deep concern that family and friends don’t accept this reality or may be unprepared for the finality of their leaving.”

Final Gifts, Maggie Callahan and Patricia Kelley.

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