What will you do today to be able to end your life at the uncertain time of your death with as little regret as possible? Comment here! I am doing meditation practice intensively for many months as part of my life-without-regret plan.
Yesterday during my second day of walking meditation on living in the God Realm, I walked through my neighborhood, Cherryland, CA, an unincorporated part of Hayward, in a new direction, on streets I haven’t walked, before. There was a wide variety of landscaping, from untended dirt to blooming plants, especially very large, standing roses, and dwellings (ranging from assisted living, apartments, and tinier cottages than mine to what I’m sure was a mansion when it was built in the early 1900s). Such a haphazard continuum of land use and conditions of the habitations gave me ideas for all the Realms’ meditations to come.
This week, I am focusing on the God Realm, so I lingered in front of the beautiful fountains and shrubbery, adored two little front-yards’ ponds and then went to sit in the neighborhood park on this beautiful fall day. The feeling of the sun, the peacefulness, the sweet-smelling breezes, the cloudless skies, complete freedom, all at 70 degrees combined to give me a perfection moment.
A girl about 4 was playing with “Papi” (Grandfather). Papi had a large bubble wand and jar of bubble mixture. Their game involved his dipping the wand and waving it to let the bubbles flow toward her in the light breeze. His granddaughter would leap, run, stretch high, crouch and kick to get the bubbles within her reach to pop them.
She buzzed around the playground, laughing and calling out, “Papi! Papi!” with joy each time she popped a rainbow bubble. He laughed with her delight and kept sending them to her. At one point, his enthusiasm and the breeze conspired to put them ahead of her, coming too fast and out of her reach. Out of breath, she went over to him, stomped her foot, put her hands at her hips (in her best imitation of her mom?) and said, “Papi! Wait for me to come to you!”
“Oh, yes, of course, mi Princesa!” he replied, bowing, and did as she asked. Satisfied, she resumed her annihilating spree with vigor.
Life in the God Realm is just like that: everything is beautiful, within reach, delightful, fun and able to be changed at our command. As Gods/Goddesses, we live impossibly long lives, replete with splendor and abundance of all that we could possibly desire.
Yet, those lives, as any, are actually just rainbow bubbles, able to be burst at any time by another’s actions, or the breezes, or by striking an object, or just coming to the ends of our bubble existences: POP and life is over, Royal or not.
Then, unlike a bubble, which seems to be free of self-reflection, we know we just died. Gods/Goddesses have an inordinately lengthy time, to match our long lives, to contemplate our lives and deaths as we die; that’s part of our existence. Royals have long, self-recriminating death throes that go on and on, all the way until we land in our next incarnation, which happens to be in the Hell Realms. What a way to go.
All our self-castigations are for naught: no matter how many ways we imagine we could have done things differently, at death, it’s too late. Regrets are useless as we die.
Buddhist teachers often say that the best humans can hope for, especially the ones who do not have the teachings and practice of dharma in their lives, is to die without regret. How many of us could die today and die without regret, dharma practitioners or not?
Something to aim for: dying without regret. And, since we do not know the time, manner or date of our death, start NOW on that course.
What will you do today to be able to end your life at the uncertain time of your death with as little regret as possible? Comment here!
Thanks for sharing your experiences with the world. As someone who meditates, I was wondering what type of meditation you do. I can see you seek God, but at the same time follow Buddhist principles.
Hello, Thanks for visiting and reading my blog and leaving your comment/question. I follow a teacher in the Tibetan Nyingma tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism and my main practices include visualization, chanting mantra (sometimes using prayer beads to count them, a mala, which Catholics adapted into a rosary), contemplating teachings I’ve heard/read/received, and resting in awareness (rigpa, in Tibetan).
All of this begins and is permeated with altruistic motivation, a wish for all beings to be freed from suffering and to attain their own liberation from the wheel of samsara (incarnation without choice), which is called bodhicitta, and an all-encompassing vow not to harm, which is also called taking refuge. There are other vows I have taken at various times for increasing levels of commitment to the benefit of all beings and self-improvement which I strive to maintain daily with appropriate conduct in mind, body and speech.
This practice also involves evoking compassion, rejoicing in others’ good fortune, abiding in equanimity, and experiencing ongoing lovingkindness, sometimes called metta. It includes daily, ritual practices as well as ongoing, all-the-time, all-day-and-night, lifetime practices.
We also focus continually on recognizing the impermanence of all phenomena, on remembering that all actions have inevitable consequences (known as karma), on knowing that all life includes suffering, and on understanding that the guidance and generosity of a qualified teacher (Lama or Guru) are what provide the stability and environment we need to practice successfully, to become liberated (enlightened) in this lifetime.
Our devotion and commitment to follow a teacher, Guru Yoga, is the heart of our practice in this tradition. My main, or root, teacher is Padma Drimed Norbu (known as Lama Drimed); both of us had the good fortune to have as a teacher, Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. I have also studied with many other teachers over the 17 – 25 years I’ve been a practicing Buddhist.
Sorry this is so long of a response, but Buddhist meditation and practice in our niche are not just one kind of meditation, so the answer to your question is not quick or simple. I hope this helps. Best to you!