Dear friends worldwide,
The only thing we all have to do in this life is die. We never know when either.
A quote is, that the biggest footprint is that of the elephant and the greatest meditation is on impermanence.
Ringu Tulku once said in a teaching, “Am I really prepared to die today?” Those few words really resonated with me, a wake-up call.
Here are the Nine Contemplations of Atisha, an 11th century Tibetan scholar, for our consideration:
The First Contemplation
Death is inevitable, no one is exempt.
holding this thought in mind, I abide in the breath.
The Second Contemplation
Our life span is decreasing continuously, every breath brings us closer to death.
holding this thought in mind, I delve deeply into truth.
The Third Contemplation
Death will indeed come, whether or not we are prepared.
holding this thought in mind, I enter more fully into the body of life.
The Fourth Contemplation
human life expectancy is uncertain, death can come at any time.
holding this thought in mind, I listen with utmost care to every sound
The Fifth Contemplation
There are many causes of death— habits, desires, accidents can be precipitants.
holding this thought in mind, I consider the myriad possibilities.
The Sixth Contemplation
The human body is fragile and vulnerable, our life hangs by a breath.
holding this thought in mind, I attend to each inhalation-exhalation.
The Seventh Contemplation
At the time of death, our material resources are of no use to us.
holding this thought in mind, I invest wholeheartedly in the practice.
The Eight Contemplation
Our loved ones cannot keep us from death, there is no delaying its advent.
holding this thought in mind, I exercise non-grasping and clinging.
The Ninth Contemplation
Our body cannot help us at the time of death, it too will be lost at that moment.
holding this thought in mind, I strengthen my capacity for release’.
Wishing you all every blessing,