Life, death and dreams, I want to talk to you!
Ever since I started questioning, my biggest question was, “What is life?” Ever since I knew worries, my biggest worry was “death”. Still these two are my nightmares. Thinking of life it scares me and thinking of death it horrifies me. I am still curious what life is and worried about when, where and how death will happen.
I find hardly any time to think about life because I believe I am busy living although a zombie life. A zombie trapped within the thick layers of ignorance. I am no better than walking dead. I find no time to reflect on these two most critical questions of our existence. But since they are inevitable, they are occasionally thrust upon me, but we go mad by then. That way our fortunes to contemplate on life and death are very limited. Therefore, chances of realization are also reduced to that extent.
There is no question about death, it is certain. Only uncertainty about death is its time, place and cause. Some times and places are favorable and some are not. Some causes are brutal and some peaceful. I don’t have any control over it. It is the infallible Karma in operation, deflected sometimes by circumstantial causes and conditions. However, there is hope I am the master of my future karma.
But when death stares straight into our eyes, there is no escape. I have to go. Everything I called mine, ceases to be mine. Everything I held dear, I have to leave behind. I can’t take, even my favorite boots. I can’t wear your prized gho. I can’t even say a word to my loved ones. The face and fingers that I have tended week in week out, even daily is now no better than a lump of earth. I can take absolutely nothing, except good karma that I generate out of good actions and intentions.
On the contrary, everything we do is so inconsistent with this truth. From the time I come out of bed to the time I go back to bed, I am so busy. But this “busyness” is of no value in the face of death, unless it is something to do with dharma practice or some meritorious actions.
Since a month ago, every morning when I look into the mirror, I would ask myself if I were to die today. Would I be doing what I am planning to do today? The answer is no. I would not, because then I have to prepare for death. Whatever good I can do I have to complete and whatever I can’t, I have to let go. I have to let go of everything, even my own body. But that is so difficult. Nothing that I do on a daily basis prepares me to face death, except few minutes I sit in front of the altar in earnest devotion (or not) and some random acts of kindness.
If my life doesn’t prepare me for death, then what for am I preparing so hard. I realized if I continue the same patterns of my living, nothing is going to change. If Karma is so infallible and death is so certain, then my old habits need a kill. Only solace I find is in budha dharma and the good that I can be. We all know that.
Between life and death is a whisker of breath. Take breathe away and they become one, there is no gap. Within these series of breathes there is a dream. I am still dreaming and at the same time I am not aware that I am dreaming. As always dreams are very difficult to understand. I wish I could control the dream and catch the rainbow.
I still don’t know what life is? What death is? What dream is? Seriously!