Why would anyone in the right mind want to contemplate death every day? Well living in the U.S with the ever-present mass shootings, death seems more poignant and closer. Contemplating death is a practice coming from Theravada Buddhism. When we put death front and center, it might help us to understand what truly matters for us and what activities make us feel most alive.
This episode introduced many practices. I summarized a few that is applicable for me:
Recite 5 remembrances every day, even visualizing them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upajjhatthana_Sutta
I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging. I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness. I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death. I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me. I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.
Meditating on this can be my last in-breath, this can be my last outbreath.
Go beyond the silliness it might initially provoke, go beyond the panic ego will unleash, meditate on this for 20-30 minutes.
In the morning say to yourself: this could be my last day.
Putting death front and center makes us appreciate and make the best out of each day.
Then this episode briefly discussed how to deal with the fear of disease. Focus on the present and the present, this in-breath is just fine. Fear and worry are future-oriented.