Death–so Important for Life


Yesterday, I was reading one of my meditation books. In it, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso talks about the importance of remembering our mortality as a way to remember what is important and to act accordingly. I really thought about this approach and the power that it has to change my life. I mean, if I remember that I’m going to die; and I’m upset with somebody, and I remember that they’re going to die, naturally I’m going to be less attached to what we are arguing about. And I’m going to be kinder to myself and the other person.

And wouldn’t my thoughts in general be more positive if I remembered that I only have a limited amount of time? This made me think about my last trip to Rome. Of all the cities I’ve been to, Rome is, hands down, my favorite. So when I was there, I wanted to soak up all the beauty and enjoy every minute. I ignored my jet lag to fully experience a Bernini’s sculpture. I let go of the fact that I lost one of my earrings on the flight because–I didn’t care–I was looking at the Forum! When somebody shoved me on the bus, I wasn’t bothered because I was going to see the catacombs. The reason I had this attitude is because I knew I only had six days to be in my beautiful favorite city.

I don’t know how long I have to live, so really, everyday, no matter where I am, is precious. And by remembering my mortality and the mortality of all living things–I can enjoy my time here on earth more fully.


  1. Yeah…this is powerful stuff. Everyday I try to follow what Chagdud Tulku says in “Gates” “Today, I’ll do the best that I can, In the past, I’ve done fairly well on some days, terribly on others. But since this day may be my last,I will offer my best;I will do right by other people as much as I am able.”

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  2. Love your thoughts here. We do have a limited amount of time on this earth. We do not know when our time will end. We have to make the most of every moment. Life is to be lived not endured.
    Thank you for the comment you left me on my site.
    Really enjoy your blog, please keep it up.

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  3. We were in Rome summer 2014, and I am in complete agreement with you. It is a magical place, full of a history that many of us share through various historical channels. Remembering the mortal limits on life certainly does give a person an attitude adjustment. Thanks for your wise words.

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