A Mindful Dying Experience
At a societal level over the past half century, there has been a gradual but significant shift away from our direct involvement in the caring of those who are dying.
Additionally nowadays, there is scant cultural recognition given to the value or worth of the dying process itself nor a realisation of the wide range of choices available to us as we die.
However, this is beginning to change and you may find yourself here with a wish to reclaim your own dying experience.
If we have the opportunity, might the months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds leading up the moment we die be something that we wish to consciously experience?
In the south of India, when a yogi or sadhu (meditator) in a state of samadhi (awakening) is dying, typically a chamber is dug in the ground and they are lowered in and placed sitting in the lotus posture. The hole is covered and they are left to die in what is described as a conscious dying process. They maintain a strong commitment to their meditative practice, alone in the darkness, being with their experience up until the moment of their death.
In London, what would a conscious dying experience look like? With no holes to dig nor darkened chambers to sit in, how do you want your dying experience to be?
I offer a mindful dying sessions where I visit you each week either in your home or we meet in a local park or open space. The sessions offer a place for you to be heard and, depending on how far you want to go, to deepen into the process of dying and what it means for you.
I hold the teachings on the art form of dying by
central to how I hold this adventure of death. He spoke of the need to prepare for the moment of death and described the process as one of taking off a tight but well worn shoe. I embrace this seeing of death as the culminating transformation of our life.
Giving reference to
The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Ram Dass spoke of a process where, rather than feel deprived by the loss of those we have loved, we recognise how each has enriched us and how they all live on through us and form part of the fabric of our being.
As the moment of our own death approaches, our awareness is expansive, boundaries dissolve and the everpresent pull of attraction and push of aversion releases and falls away. We are neither grabbing at life nor pushing it away. There is a humbleness and faith in what is unfolding and a recognition of death as a moment of release. In this presence of being we are the love we have spent our lives seeking from others and we go towards our death with an openness and love of the tight shoe we have worn well.
'As the Earth element leaves you will feel Heavy,
As the Water element leaves you will feel Dryness,
As the Fire element leaves you will feel Cold,
As the Air element leaves your Out-breath will be longer than your In-breath.
The signs are now here.
Don't get lost in the detail.
Let your awareness go free.'
The Tibetan Book of the Dead