Finding Inner Calm and Deeper Wisdom

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Posts Tagged ‘fear of death

The Joy of Being “Dead”

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Sure, many people will think I’m macabre. They’ll read the title above and turn the page—to get the awful thought of death out of their mind. But they’re missing the point.

You see, unless you have received enlightening meditative experiences, you’re not likely to remember what it was like to be “dead.” After all, before you were born, you were “dead.” Right? And after your body dies, you’ll be “dead” again, back where you came from. But if you were able to remember what it was like to be in the spiritual form, you would have a much different attitude about bodily death.

Among its many other benefits, Zen meditation is a way to connect to your human spirit, which is the non-physical energy form that lives within you. And in accordance with the natural laws of our universe, energy and matter aren’t created or destroyed, they are transformed from one state to another. The human spirit is an indestructible energy form.

The human spirit arrives in a new body with memories, knowledge, and experience from previous lives. And now, even though you may not be in touch with your own spiritual being, it is nevertheless recording experiences and gaining knowledge while it is living inside your present body. After it departs, it will carry some of your present life experiences with it, back into its “normal” spiritual state.

The “Joy” I’m writing about here comes from being free from the pain and suffering of the human condition. And the first question I usually get is: Won’t I miss food and sex? Nope, absolutely not. You’ll have something much, much better. So much better the human mind can’t fully grasp it.

Let’s take sex, for example. In the human form, people make love by getting their bodies plastered together as close as possible. But that closeness is always limited by their physical bodies. Each person is still alone inside his own body and mind. There’s no way for humans to have physical union totally inside each other. The closest we can get is with our genitals, male inside the female—which pales in comparison.

But in the spiritual state, two beings can merge totally and occupy the same “time and space” inside each other. That is a total spiritual union, something far greater than ordinary human orgasm. The two individuals become one. There is no separation of any kind. It is an indescribable joy.

Enlightened people understand these rewards. And most of them get very excited about the prospect of returning to the spiritual state. And that, of course, provides a lot of motivation to deepen their meditative experiences. After experiencing just a brief taste of these experiences, a practitioner’s attitude about dying changes enormously.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

May 25, 2016 at 5:12 pm

People Who Laugh at Death

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Why do people who receive enlightening experiences have no fear of death? Are they just out of their mind, or do they know something that we don’t know?

GreatAlexander_1x1The correct answer: Some of both.

Enlightenment is an experience that opens avenues in the mind not available to a typical person. Let me be clear: This is not a new-age, pop culture fantasy that came from smoking too much weed. Rather, it is one of the most well-known benefits of Zen meditation, something known and taught by masters over thousands of years.

A long-term practice of Zen typically results in the creation of new neural pathways that allow the practitioner to have out-of-body and out-of-mind experiences during meditation. Now, hold that thought for a minute.

Have you heard about people who’ve had near-death experiences or who actually died, were resuscitated, and who experienced passing through the legendary Window of Light? Enlightened Zen practitioners are people who have visited the Window but without the necessity of dying. They experienced the process of passing through the Window—and then coming back. Quite a few of them are walking around the planet today. We call them “masters.” And you can believe me, they know something other people don’t know—they know there is no such thing as “death.”

Wow, what a life-changing, world-transforming concept. That’s chiefly because when your spirit is on the other side of the Window, it can see things a mortal human cannot see. You’re able to grasp a bigger picture than the ordinary human mind can comprehend. Or can be expressed in our pathetically inadequate human languages. Nevertheless, after you’ve been there, you know that death of the human body is just a transformation. It’s merely the next step. It’s the start of a whole new chapter.

This is why Zen practitioners might giggle during a funeral. It really, really is a cause for celebration.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

May 2, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Uh Oh, Where’s My Body?

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This morning a humorous situation happened to me. I had an early supine meditation that was deeper than usual. I can do supine only in the morning when I’m thoroughly rested; otherwise I fall asleep. It was so peaceful that I wanted to come out very slowly. Then for some reason I stopped right on the edge, just before the conscious mind goes active.

HapiWithSignIn case you’re interested, that state of mind has a name: hypnagogia. It’s that state of mind where you sometimes have a flash of brilliance or one of those eureka moments of discovery. It works because the conscious mind is quieted, and you’re listening to parts of the brain you normally can’t hear. And it usually lasts only a moment or two.

Unless memory fails me, today was the first time in my life I was able to stop right there—on the border between the Zen state and being awake—and then stay there for a while. Believe me, it is a magical place. But then, I had a short moment of anxiety when I realized I couldn’t feel any connection to my body.

What an incredible feeling that was! I became aware that “I” (whoever that is) was floating in a warm comfortable place without a body. I was awake and aware of being, but not aware of my physical body, and of course not thinking. Somewhere nearby, I could feel the urge of my conscious mind to start thinking. I sent a message telling it to relax.

Now, hours later sitting here at my computer, I can think about the experience and write about it. But at that time I was only noticing, not thinking. One of the first things I noticed was the sublime joy and peace of being without any connection to the physical world. At one point my silly conscious mind blurted, “Are we dead?” which, as I remember, made me want to chuckle.

In a while, the conscious mind’s question came more into focus. Was I dead? I widened my noticing to see if I could pick up anything. Voila, I felt my heart beating. Ahah! My body is still alive. Then I noticed the pulsation of blood pressure radiating out from my heart, especially coming up into my head. I was feeling the carotid artery. But as far as muscles were concerned, they were all asleep.

Then I noticed pulsations of heartbeat in my fingertips. But I did not feel any sensation coming back from my feet. Maybe that’s because the feet are so much farther away. Oh, and then I noticed the slight rise and fall of my chest. Something was making me breathe and my heart beat, but I couldn’t detect the source. My meditative state wasn’t deep enough to reach the autonomic nervous system. I’ve read that some masters can do that.

Soon I began to feel the meditative state slipping away from me. Alas, I would have to go back to life in the real world. And sure enough, my conscious mind leaped into action and started planning how I was going to write this piece. But before I moved—while I was still physically inert—I took the time to relish those last few moments of peace and relaxation.

What I experienced today might be a little preview of what it’s like when the body dies. I discovered the human spirit can be at peace when it departs the body. There’s nothing to fear.

Pretend You’re Going To Die Tomorrow

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It’ll give you a new and interesting outlook on life. Ask anybody who’s faced death. Ask anybody who has looked the Grim Reaper right squarely in his black, beady little eyes. Things change. Money doesn’t matter any more. Your house, your car, all your toys—they don’t mean a damn thing. It’s all just stuff. You can’t take stuff with you when you go.

What is important are the people you love. The people who love you. The relationships you’ve developed. The inner development you’ve accomplished during this life. But there might be something even more important—more meaningful—as you draw your last few breaths: Forward vision into what happens next.

One of the possible rewards of a long-term practice of Zen meditation is receiving enlightening knowledge that provides a wider view of the Universe. One can receive the knowledge and the resultant understanding of his spiritual being as an indestructible energy form.

Discovering your own self-nature is an extraordinary gift. That knowledge allows you to live life on a higher plane than ordinary human existence. With apologies to my religious friends, that knowledge lets you walk through this life in a somewhat god-like state. That knowledge reveals this life as just one chapter in a much greater drama. Of course, that knowledge lets you smile in the face of physical death.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

July 17, 2014 at 10:44 am

What Are You Most Afraid Of??

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Dying? Most people have a pathological fear of death. It’s only natural. We know the human condition is misery. A large part of human misery is based on the fear that Death is The End of Everything. How can we cope with that? Although most religions promise various flavors of paradise after this life, those beliefs often become doubts as the end of life approaches. We also fear the make-believe tenuousness of religious belief. We need a more reliable answer.

Somewhere inside of you is some real-world “magic” known as Enlightenment. That is the discovery of knowledge that comes already built into the human mind. It was there when your mama put you into this world, just waiting on you to find it. Part of that knowledge consists of memories from before you were born. Another part is some amount of forward visibility into what will happen after you leave your physical body.

That knowledge (not belief) will transform your life into a paradise. When you receive it, you will know who you really are, you will understand your true self-nature, and you will know your purpose for being here.

Apparently, we human beings have several possible pathways to receiving our enlightening knowledge. It should be apparent to most would-be seekers that the less dogmatic belief necessary for any given path, the more effective and trustworthy it should be. The path I took, the Zen path, entails no religious belief. If you want to know more about it, read the ebook I wrote titled Original Zen. And then pass it on. I’m convinced that, if our civilization lasts long enough, Zen will be a major factor in guiding the future development of humanity.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

March 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm