Tibetan Death Meditation
I've recently had the pleasure (and pain) of experiencing something called the Tibetan Death Meditation. It was a pivotal point in my life and it has transformed me for the better in so many ways. I want to share my story in hopes that anyone who is ready to face such a challenge, will seek to experience it as well.
It is not recommended for people who are depressed or overly anxious. It can bring up some really nasty wounds, so only those who feel confident in their ability to resolve emotional trauma should seek to experience this.
In this type of meditation, you are guided through the last hours of your life. You reflect upon all the things you were able to do and all the dreams you never got to reach. You are asked to recall all the things you wanted to say that you never had the courage to express. You think about your loved ones and those who pushed your buttons. You are guided to feel what it feels like to have the life force leave your body and what it's like to take your last breaths.
This is not for the faint-hearted. But during the whole meditation I was concerned that I was too comfortable with the idea of dying to reap any benefits. When I was younger I couldn't wait to die. I thought that life was only pain and suffering and I had already seen and experienced more than most people get to in a whole lifetime. Now that I'm a bit older and I understand that all my pains were miraculous gifts, I hope to live to be 500 years old. But I truly believe that our spirits live on infinitely and i know everything happens for a reason in a perfect, intelligent order, so if it is my time to part with my body, i will be happy to do so when that day comes.
Throughout the duration of the meditation, only for a moment, I felt some tension and anger. It was when I was asked to think about my goals and I was told it's too late now to do anything about it. The thought of not being able to see the world struck really deep.
But the major transformation didn't come until I came back into my body. When I opened my eyes and looked at my hands I just started bawling. I couldn't stop for about 20 minutes (which is very unusual for me). For the first time in my life, i truly KNEW what a miracle it is to be alive. Before i understood, but now I knew.
I started to write down all the thoughts that came up during this experience, everything i still wanted to say and do. And all of the sudden, I realized that I had built a very solid cement wall around my emotions as some sort of defense mechanism. It was keeping me from fully expressing and receiving love. I thought I had worked through this years ago, but it was just the top layer, the barbed wire. This wall was so deeply ingrained into my persona that I actually believed that it's just who I am. Now that it's been brought to my attention, I can begin to summon the bulldozers to plow it away. So I can be free once more.
I also realized how for granted I take my loved ones, my time and my surroundings. Even though I practice being present and I have daily gratitude routines, this experience showed me how much more involved i could be with all the things that matter to me. It opened my eyes to the fact that we're only here for a blink of an eye and every single moment should be treated as a precious gift.
This has propelled me to make all my goals a priority rather than keep putting them off for when I have more money, or more time, or when it becomes more convenient.
Death is our ally, not the enemy. She exists to remind us that there will never be another moment like this one. Without her our lives would become meaningless. She is not to be feared but rather celebrated as she gives us the reason to make the most out of this wild, little experience we call life. "People are not afraid of dying, people are afraid of living to their fullest potential."