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Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
53 summer 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly It is useful to understand life and death as two sides of the same coin, as aspects of an unlimited process in space and time. seeing it this way, there is no reason to be attached to life or afraid of death. life and death are, on one hand, our right, and on the other hand, our responsibility. when alive, accept life and make good use of it; when dying, accept and welcome it. I have told people on their deathbed: “Do not just wait for death nor fear it. so long as you have one more min- ute, one more second, use that time to practice.” we should not be averse to life nor wish for death, but when it is time to go, clinging to life will not work. of course, this is very difficult to do! From a fairly early age, children should learn that just as there is life, there is death. It’s better to teach them to be aware of death than to shield them from that fact—not to frighten them but to help them understand that to all living things, death will eventually come. Knowing that life and death are part of the same process provides for a healthier, more wholesome view of life. to be mentally prepared for the eventual com- ing of death is beneficial for the growth of wisdom. Before he became enlightened, siddhartha gautama witnessed firsthand the processes of life: birth, old age, sickness, and death. that knowledge inspired him to devote his life to finding a way to help people relieve their suffering and attain liberation. so, Mind at Ease ➤ providedBYdHarMadruMMountainCulturalandeduCationalfoundation,allrigHtSreServed