Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rigpa Glimpse of the Day

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Looking into death needn’t be frightening or morbid. Why not reflect on death when you are really inspired, relaxed, and comfortable, lying in bed, or on vacation, or listening to music that particularly delights you? Why not reflect on it when you are happy, in good health, confident, and full of well-being? Don’t you notice that there are particular moments when you are naturally inspired to introspection? Work with them gently, for these are the moments when you can go through a powerful experience, and your whole worldview can change quickly. These are the moments when former beliefs crumble on their own, and you can find yourself being transformed.

~ Sogyal Rinpoche
I liked this observation. I have seen a lot of death in my life -- my family, friends, strangers -- but after the first major experience (my father), what has allowed me to flow with it is the time I have spent meditating on death in moments when my life is good and those I love are healthy. Which is not to say that I won't grieve next time someone I love passes. But the feelings are softened by having explored my relation to them in gentler times. I found this to be true when my mother and sister passed last summer.

This is true for any intense feeling or fear. If we want to befriend our anger, it is best not to seek it when we are angry and the emotion is powerful. Rather, it is best to seek it when we are calm, happy, and introspective. In these times we can begin to understand our strong emotions much more easily. And with understanding comes the opportunity to transform our relationship to that feeling or experience.

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