Die before you die

While we’re contemplating the fact of our inevitable demise, It’s also important to consider that who dies may not be What we really are! 

What do I mean by that.?
What dies is our Story, which is perpetuated by thought. The story of “will I get what I don’t want, will I not get what I want?” Over and over again. This is the tyranny of the “me” , the little ego, demanding it’s way.
When this dies, What lives on is the Presence, the Spirit, the Actuality of what we are.

Adyashanti says it’s possible to “die before you die”, and this means to die to this identification with the ego, the “little me”, so that the greater being that you are, may come forth and live its life through you!

I think it’s a good idea to contemplate our own death, since we are surrounded by death, by suffering, by limitation, by “not getting what I want”.

The Buddhists have provided many ways to train in this way of viewing life, this way of Being. One of the ways is called the Six Perfections, or the six Paramitas. These are the paramitas of
Meditative Concentration

The way the Buddha talks about these qualities is in their transcendental aspect, in the sense that there is understanding that he or she who is practicing, is not a solid, permanent self. Many people are familiar with the paramita of wisdom, known as prajna paramita. That transcendental wisdom dawns as one matures in practice in the other paramitas.
Taking up these practices is a way to take us beyond the unending identification with this ego, and to start to identify with the Greater Spirit which we actually are. They are ways to practice Selflessness.

Surya Das was one of the first teachers to bring the non-dual Dzogchen teachings to the west, back in the early 90’s.

In this teaching, he is talking about the third, Paramita-of Patience:

“Innately, we are all here for the whole show, so we must be interested in seeing this through. We are not going anywhere else; this is it! That’s why as people get older, they get wiser, because they realize that no matter what they do, they are going to keep on keeping on. That’s the most secret, mystical meaning of the paramita of patience. And even if you think, “but what about so and so who committed suicide?”, even then there is ongoingness. We are all in it for the whole journey. Don’t be deceived by mere appearances.”

I like What Surya Das is saying here-this idea that we’re all in it for the duration-no one’s going anywhere. We’re all going to be here until we wake up from this illusion of separateness. And then we are here, still, living in that Realization.

This relates to what I’ve talked to a lot of my clients about, that it’s never too late to get started on fixing yourself, on teaching yourself a new skill, or making changes that you always thought you should make. So many people get to be 50 or 60 or even younger and they tell themselves “I’m too old to learn something new, I’m too set in my ways- I can see the end of my life already.”

But when we’re in it for the duration we’re working in a context that is longer than the time line from your birth to your death. It’s bigger then that- waaaay bigger. Not only is it true that what we truly are lives in a dimension that transcends time and space/ birth and death, but we also inhabit a much bigger space in our lives than we normally think we do.

What happens when we open up the context and we experience ourselves more as the multi-dimensional being that we are, is that we shift our priorities about what needs to be done. When we know ourselves as the Big Beings that we are, then the urgency to get something done right now, or the story that we tell ourselves about it and the worry that goes along with it, is not so pressing. What is REALLY important in your life, in your world, can come to the foreground, be seen and given the attention it needs.

When we experience ourselves as the Big Beings that we are, in some ways, we’ve already arrived where we’re trying to get to-everything is already accomplished.

My own experience is that it is not that easy to “Die before you Die” This ego has been here a long time and the survival instinct applies to the ego as well as to the physical body. But I’ve had many glimpses, and experiences of the Deathless State, and I have confidence in it’s existence. I know that it’s worthwhile to work towards living in this place more and more of the time.

The circumstances of the world today are great motivation to cultivate this view, to live in a way that transcends ego.

That’s why we’re here. This is the work that needs to be done. That is the Being that wants to express itself through you!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 at 4:11 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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