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Buddhadharma : Fall 2010
89 fall 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly have not had someone close to you die, imagine the death of someone you love and reflect deeply on your wish that they will experience no suffering and have all the support they need to die mindfully. Contemplate the Causes and Conditions That Led to Your Birth and Will Lead to Your Death recognize the long chain of positive and negative actions that brings you to this very moment. search for a deep understand- ing of karma, causes and conditions, and how you can affect your spiritual path with mindful actions from now until death. then consider the type of practitioner you wish to be at your death and what kind of spiritual support you will want from others. take time to imagine yourself in the dying process. Do you have the confidence to die well? are you ready? also, reflect on the idea that you may die suddenly, or during an accident. how can you be spiritually prepared for that experience? Contemplate Difficulties with Your Death as you imagine yourself dying, do any obstacles arise in your mind that would prevent you from having the kind of death you wish? What are they and what can you do to remove them? Contemplate Your Ideal Death What will your mind be like? What qualities will you have developed? What practice will be most important for you to do or hear at that time? Who do you want to be there to help you stay focused on your practice as you are dying? Contemplate Your Level of Practice What changes do you need to make in your daily practice to best ensure you become the type of practitioner you want to be? Contemplate Your Relationship With a Spiritual Friend If you have had the good fortune to meet and make a strong connection to a lama or spiritual teacher, reflect on this rela- tionship and what it is like now. have you developed the kind of relationship you envision? If not, what can you do to develop this relationship further? Revising Your Dharma Vision the dharma vision is a living and evolving meditation. We are always changing and growing in our understanding. I rec- ommend that each year, perhaps at the new year or on your birthday, you commit to reviewing your vision as a dharma practitioner, assessing your progress, and seeing if there is anything new you want to add. you may want to again return to the contemplations above. If you have done any of this work in a group retreat, it would be fruitful for everyone to meet again to review and share both your progress and your obstacles. support each other with kindness and appreciate the efforts everyone has made. your sangha and entrusted dharma friends are most precious! Represented by Jack Shainman Gallery ARLENE SHECHET 513 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011, T. 212 645 1701, F. 212 645 8316 In the Between: Aware Head, 1998 Concrete, steel, hydrocal, acrylic paint skins 25x11x10inches