Contemplation on Death and Impermanence

Terry PattenExistential, Guided Meditations, How can I begin or deepen my meditation practice?, Integral Life Practice, Integral Life Practice, Practice, Short Practices, Spirituality Leave a Comment

Terry Patten offers a short guided meditation to help you reduce the existential fear, dread, and anxiety surrounding death by shifting your attention and identification to the indestructible presence at the very center of your being.

“If you die before you die, then when you die, you won’t die.”

All spiritual practice is a rehearsal — and at its best, an enactment — of death. As the mystics put it, ‘If you die before you die, then when you die, you won’t die.’ In other words, if right now you die to the separate-self sense, and discover instead your real Self which is the entire Kosmos at large, then the death of this particular bodymind is but a leaf falling from the eternal tree that you are.

Meditation is to practice that death right now, and right now, and right now, by resting in the timeless Witness and dis-identifying with the finite, objective, mortal self that can be seen as an object. In the empty Witness, in the great Unborn, there is no death — not because you live forever in time — you will not — but because you discover the timelessness of this eternal moment, which never enters the stream of time in the first place. When you are resting in the great Unborn, standing free as the empty Witness, death changes nothing essential.

Still, every death is so very sad in its own way.

-Ken Wilber, One Taste