It is important to learn to have a happy life, but we also have to learn to enjoy the end of life since we constantly prepare ourselves to have a very pleasant life, but we do not prepare ourselves to die.
Learning to deal with death.

In our society, unlike in other cultures, talking about death is uncomfortable and painful. In Buddhism, it is about approaching and learning to deal with death.

The idea is that when we experience the suffering that causes us the fear of dying, we can reduce it, and one way to do it is to approach the subject and learn to handle it. And even if we wanted to ignore it, it would be impossible because we know that death is inevitable. Sooner or later, it will come.

It is something that can not be prevented. Therefore, there is no reason to feel anguished because it will happen to all of us. So, living a life not lived for the simple fact of fearing death is devastating.

One of the questions that we have asked ourselves at some point regarding death is: am I just this physical body, and when it disappears, do I cease to exist? This doubt comes from the idea that our essence, who we really are, is only a product of the functioning of our brain, so that when it stops working, we also stop existing.

Science and life after death

This answer can be found in both science and spiritual traditions; science has studied near-death experiences in which some patients have a cardio-respiratory arrest and spend several minutes without introducing oxygen into their bodies, resulting in the cessation of bodily functions, including brain function.

Studies have shown that those patients who clinically die for a few minutes and come back to life are aware of everything that happens around them, seeing themselves from the place where they are, being aware of the words that are said around them, and what is being done.

They feel great peace and calm, without fear of what may happen. Then they find themselves surrounded by darkness, feeling attracted to a point of light to move through a tunnel of bright white light.

Finding themselves at the end of that road with their loved ones who have already passed away, they were in a place where space and time do not exist, yearning for the deep peace found in that other dimension.

This event changes the lives of those who experience it. From the point of view of quantum physics, consciousness cannot be located in a specific space and time. Consciousness is present everywhere and is infinite.

Thus, science begins to observe that our consciousness, our essence, survives the death of the physical body because it exists beyond it.

Spirituality and life after death

From the spiritual point of view, starting from Buddhism, the body is considered a temple for our soul that is eternal.

We must take advantage of our life and learn the lessons that we have come to experience, but it is important not to confuse who we really are, the real nature of our mind, with this physical body that we temporarily inhabit.

We have to be aware that we are going to die so as not to resist the impermanent nature of reality. Losing the fear of death is a job that we can do in the present, here and now, and is a serious way to explore the meaning of our life.

We are alive, being alive means that our body and our mind are working together, there is a connection between them: our physical body supports our mind and our consciousness working together when this connection is completely broken, we have already transcended.

There are many reasons why this connection ends: an accident or our body is in such a fragile and delicate state that there comes a time when it can no longer support our consciousness. Not necessarily because the body is sick, but it ages already as As time passes, it loses energy, and there comes a time when that energy is no longer enough to support our consciousness.

From the Buddhist point of view, when this connection is broken, the body stays here and ends up dissolving, but the consciousness subtle permanence.

Buddha said that there was no birth or death because our essence (the soul) never dies. There is no end. The soul continues to evolve. You have to accept things as they are, assuming it will avoid suffering.

How could I reduce that fear of dying?

I would like to share some tips based on Buddhist teachings that would be very beneficial if we put them into practice:

Detach the mind from the body.

We are all witnesses that the body degenerates, diseases, old age, but the mind does not necessarily have to experience a similar degeneration. The mind can continue to remain fresh, serene, and intelligent. We can achieve this by separating the events of the physical body and not identifying with them.

By not resisting changes or identifying with them, the mind does not deteriorate with the physical body, does not grieve, and is not dragged down by decadence.

The mind becomes wise, contemplating the balance in the face of impermanence.

Don’t deny death

This is related to the previous point, but specifically it has to do with not maintaining a materialistic vision based on fear, on clinging to life thinking that death is the end of all existence. In other words, it is important to let things go and not cling to identity, to labels that we fill our personality with, and so on.

You can meditate on this: how everything changes and everything dissolves. On the impermanence of things.

Give up the externals

Buddhism teaches that when approaching death, it is important to have a calm mind because this mind determines rebirth—Buddha said that we are what we think.

It is then recommended to strengthen one’s own breathing and/or the recitation of a mantra, and abandon all concern for external material or mental objects. This also has a symbolic truth, since the only thing we take from this life is our conscience, no other object, for which we must walk lightly.

Consciousness is reflected, precisely, in the breath.

Leave the world, stay calm.

This point is just as important as the previous ones. Many people cling to their loved ones when they die, but Buddhism teaches that this form of attachment is an obstacle.

The world will go on by itself. When death approaches, there is no longer anything to do in worldly terms. Each person is responsible for his own life. And the best way to help is to be at peace and achieve a consciousness of wisdom. When dying, it is necessary to close the book and not look back.

The only responsibility you have when you die is to free yourself from the shackles of the mind. To do this, it is necessary to cultivate a quiet mind.

Find your true home.

Buddhism teaches that this composite world, known as samsara, is not our true home.

The true home is an inner peace free from all change. It is helpful to remember that we should not worry too much about dying, because this is not our true home, but only a temporary refuge. And the same happens with all sentient beings: it is not their permanent home either.

If someone who has had a full life is not afraid of the end, the best strategy to reduce the fear of death is to enjoy the eternal present. It is not good to reach that final moment having lived a life full of fear and attachment, without having appreciated the gift of being alive on this physical plane, the place we choose to incarnate to continue our evolutionary process.

If we are here, we must make the most of this unique opportunity in this incarnation.

We are spiritual beings having a human experience. The goal is none other than to let death surprise us, enjoying our existence to the fullest.

“Long is the cycle of birth and death to the fool who does not know the true path.” – Buddha

 

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