Nine Simple Ways to Contemplate Death

Getting to the point where you can mindfully acknowledge that death can arrive before you finish reading this sentence takes effort. You know it is worth it.

“‘The perception of death, when developed and pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end’: Thus, was it said, and in reference to this was it said.” (AN 7.46)

Some days, a deep dive into the suttas is not within reach. Or you might benefit from other ways to become comfortable with death. It can be helpful to spend time understanding your beliefs about death and dying. And to notice the emotions that surface for you when you contemplate death.

Here are nine thoughts about death. You can use them as mantras, as an object for your meditation, or as a way to start thoughtful discussions with family or friends. I invite you to examine this list and to add or subtract it in a way that supports you in your own practice.

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