Knowing death that there is death. Really knowing on a deep level will bring you strength, and resilience and peace.
In life, you will have surprises. When you can access your equanimity, you will see them simply as surprises, neither good nor bad. Some surprises can be harder to receive without being thrown off balance. A job loss. A diagnosis of cancer for yourself or a loved one. A phone call notifying you that a good friend has died. You don’t have to be as quick as a skilled actor, but you can draw on some “Yes and…” thinking to help you catch your breath and accept what you have handed and decided how to keep going.
They are involuntary Buddhist monks. Their monastery is a California State Prison. On that long drive, as we watch the heat waves bounce off the highway or chase the sunset, our discussion usually turns toward gratitude, and learning. We share the gratitude we feel for being allowed to share the dharma with our special desert sangha.