Death -whether we face it or not is already there. It is just like breathing. When we are born, we inhale, we breathe in for the first time. That is the beginning of life. And when one day we become old, die, we will exhale. Death always happens with exhalation and birth with inhalation. But exhalation and inhalation are happening continuously. With each inhalation we are born; with each exhalation we die. So death is not somewhere in the future, waiting for us, as it has been always pictured. It is part of life; it is an ongoing process — not in the future, but here, now. Life and death are two aspects of existence, simultaneously happening together. Death is an absolutely necessary process for life to be. It is not going to happen, it has been always happening. Since we have been here it has been with us. With each exhalation it happens — a little death, a small death — but because of fear we have put it in the future. The mind always tries to avoid things which it cannot comprehend, and death is one of the most incomprehensible mysteries. There are only three mysteries: life, death and love. All these three are beyond mind. So mind takes life for granted; then there is no need to inquire. That is a way of avoiding. We never think, we never meditate on life; we have simply accepted it, taken it for granted. It is a tremendous mystery. We are alive, but don’t think that we have known life. For death, mind plays another trick: it postpones it. To accept it here and now would be a constant worry, so the mind puts it somewhere in the future — then there is no hurry. When it comes, we will see. And for love, mind has created substitutes which are not love. Sometimes we call our possessiveness our love; sometimes our attachment our love; sometimes our domination our love — these are ego games. Love has nothing to do with them. In fact, because of these games, love is not possible. Between life and death, between the two banks of life and death, flows the river of love. And that is possible only for a person who does not take life for granted, who moves deep into the quality of being alive and becomes existential, authentic. Love is for the person who accepts death here and now and does not postpone it. Then between these two a beautiful phenomenon arises: the river of love. Life and death are like two banks. The possibility is there for the river of love to flow, but it is only a possibility. We will have to materialize it — that is the goal of being a human. Unless love materializes – we have missed the whole point of being. Death is already happening — If we don’t put it in the future there is no question of defending our self. If it is already happening — and it has been already happening always — then there is no question of protecting our self against death. Death has not killed us, it has been happening while we were still alive. It is happening just now and life is not destroyed by it; in fact, because of it, life renews itself each moment. When the old leaves fall, they make space for the new leaves to come. When the old flowers disappear, the new flowers appear. Each moment we die and each moment there is resurrection. Each moment the past is crucified, the old leaves disappear. And each moment a new being arises in us, resurrects. It is a constant miracle. Death is the only certainty. Everything else is uncertain: it may happen- it may not happen. Death is certain because in birth half of it has already happened, so the other end must be somewhere, the other pole must be somewhere in the dark. We have not come across it because we are afraid; we don’t move in the dark. But it is certain! Once this certainty penetrates our understanding, we are relaxed. Whenever something is absolutely certain then there is no worry. Worry arises out of uncertainty. The moment death becomes certain a shivering goes through our being and then things settle, and immediately all worries disappear. If the person is with that certainty, a peace, a silence, comes to our being. This hanging in between, wondering whether one is going to live or die — this is the root cause of all worry. Once it is certain that we are going to die then there is nothing to do. Then one simply accepts it. And in that acceptance, calmness, tranquility happens. If we can die in total relaxation, the quality of death changes and our new birth somewhere will be of a higher quality. The quality of birth is decided by death. And then, in turn, the quality of birth will decide the quality of another death. That’s how one goes higher and higher, that’s how one evolves. And whenever a person becomes absolutely certain about death a flame arises on his face — In fact, a miracle happens: he becomes alive as he has never been before. There is a saying in India that before a flame dies, it becomes tremendously intense. Just for a moment it flares up. Whatsoever we do — death is certain. It has already happened, that’s why it is certain; it is already happening, that’s why it is certain. So why wait for the moment when we are dying on our bed? Why not make it certain right now? And feel fear disappearing within us? Can’t we feel that with the very idea — and it is just an idea right now, not our experience – with just an idea that death is certain, we are calm and quiet. We need to experience it…. with open eyes, watching it, accepting it, embracing it and living with the consciousness that each moment we die and each moment we are born. Allow it to happen. The more we avoid life, the more we become afraid of death. If we live rightly we are finished with death. But if we have not lived, then the constant worry continues, ‘I have not lived yet and death is coming. And death will stop all; with death there will be no future.’ So one becomes apprehensive, afraid, and tries to avoid death. In trying to avoid death, one goes on missing life. Forget about that avoidance. Live life. In living life, death is avoided. In living life, we become so fulfilled that if this very moment death comes and the future stops, we will be ready. We will be happily ready. We have lived our life; we have delighted in existence; we have celebrated it; we are contented. There is no complaint, no grumbling; we don’t have any grudge. We welcome death. And unless we can welcome death, one thing is certain — we have not lived. “To trust in the Universe is to trust in our self – for WE are a reflection of the Universe”.

When we are afraid of death we go on finding excuses for how to go on living. Whether our life means anything or not we simply go on finding excuses to prolong it. If we live life, then even a single moment is enough. A single moment can be equal to eternity. It is not a question of length, but of depth; it is not a question of quantity, but of quality. Don’t we all wish to live just one moment of Buddha’s life or would we like a thousand years of our own life? It is only then will we be able to understand about the quality, the intensity, the depth. In a single moment fulfillment is possible: we can bloom and blossom. But we may not bloom for one thousand years; we may remain hiding in the seed. The very word ‘death’ is a taboo word. How long we live is not the point — how deep we live, how intensely we live, how totally we live — the quality — is. We need to change the focus of our being and learn how to live each moment and learn how to die each moment. Both are together. If we know how to die each moment, we will be able to live each moment — fresh, young, virgin. We need to die to the past and not allow it to interfere with our present. It should only go in our memory, just a remembrance. This psychological hang-up should not be allowed. Presently we are looking at someone who is not there and seeing someone who doesn’t exist, we are looking at a ghost — So ghosts meet, and realities remain separate; ghosts are married, and realities are divorced. Then these two ghosts will make love, these two ghosts will fight, quarrel, and do a thousand and one things, and the realities will be far, far away. There will be no contact; realities will not have any connection. Then there can be no communication, no dialogue. Only realities can love. Ghosts can only make impotent gestures — movements, but with no life in them. We need to drop the past each moment just as we clean our house every morning, every moment to clean our inner house of the past. All psychological memories have to be dropped but keep factual things and this will enable our mind to be very, very clean and clear. We don’t need to move ahead of our self into the future because that is not possible to do. The future remains unknown; that is its beauty, its grandeur and glory. If it becomes known it will be useless, because then the whole excitement and the whole surprise will be lost. Don’t expect anything in the future. Don’t corrupt it because if all our expectations are fulfilled then too we will be miserable. We will not be happy about it. Happiness is possible only through surprise; happiness is possible only when something happens which we had never expected, when something takes us completely unawares. The new, the novel, the original, is needed. So if our expectations are fulfilled we will remain completely unfulfilled and if our expectations are not fulfilled then we feel frustrated. And the whole problem arises because we expect. Once we drop expectations we have learned how to live. Then everything that happens fulfills us. Frustration is a shadow of expectation. With the expectation dropped, frustration drops on its own accord. Once expectations are not there we are free to move into the unknown and to accept the unknown — And to accept it with deep gratitude. When everything happens unexpectedly, everything becomes new. It brings freshness to our life; a fresh breeze is continuously blowing and it does not allow dust to gather on us. Our doors and our windows are open and in- comes sunshine, the breeze and the fragrance of flowers — everything unexpected. Life is pregnant, always pregnant, with the unknown. Once we expect, everything is destroyed. We need to remain in an unfrozen state, flowing — no past, no future, just at this moment alive, intensely alive, a flame burning from both the ends. This is what let-go is.

 

 

 

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