Living Consciously, Dying Consciously

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to.

If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve. “ ~ Lao Tzu

Recently, my mother, Evelyn Jones, made her transition. I had the honor of talking and praying with her via phone each evening the last year of her life. She lived an amazingly good life and was nearly ninety-five at the time of her passing; she knew the end of this part of her journey was nearing and, because we shared the same spiritual path for most of my life (and she had been my first spiritual teacher) I wanted to help her make it consciously to the finish line.

What does it mean to die a conscious death? First, living a conscious life is a prerequisite for dying a conscious death: It means being as fully present with the experience as possible; so as not to avoid or deny it, but to embrace it as part of the sacred continuum of life that it is. It means a full acceptance and surrender to the fact that all things must pass, including the finite body we temporarily occupy. It means consciously merging with an aspect of ourselves that knows its way home and how to transcend fear and pain—as well as our attachment to regret and resentment. In other words, dying a conscious death means knowing we are returning home from our sacred sojourn on the planet to our true Essence and welcoming the journey.

Mom achieved her goal of dying a conscious death with grace because she had lived her life in the same manner in which she died; consciously...with passion, courage, and faith. Because she had severe scoliosis she was no stranger to pain but she was also clear that suffering—or not—was a choice she had to make daily; she understood that the root of all suffering was an attachment to not wanting "things" to change, whether physical or material, when the time to let them go had come. This is life, my friends, and I share my Mom's journey with you because one day we too will take that soul trek; it is inevitable. The quintessential question is, shall we make it consciously or unconsciously? To die consciously is the gift we earn in advance by training our minds to live consciously, each and every day of our lives. Know your life intimately well and live it fully—but don't cling too tightly to any part of it. Deeply enjoy each day that lies before you; be present and and bring the best that you have and are to it knowing, this too shall pass.

Peace, Dennis

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