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Death Train

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  • buddhatrue
    The other day, I was lying in bed with my boyfriend and he was running his hands through my hair. It was one of those nice, intimate moments where it seems
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2007
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      The other day, I was lying in bed with my boyfriend and he was
      running his hands through my hair. It was one of those nice,
      intimate moments where it seems like everything is right with the
      world. However, the sweetness of the moment was quickly shattered by
      a shocking revelation. Sebastian told me, "You have some grey hair.
      Yeah, right here, you have some grey hairs." I thought he was joking
      with me, as he usually does. "No I don't" I replied, "Not yet." He
      didn't say anything else- I don't think it was a big deal to him.
      But, what he said bothered me.

      Later that day, when we were eating lunch, I checked my hair with a
      little mirror that is in my brush. I was very shocked to see that he
      was right; I do have grey hairs mixed in with the hairs at my
      temples. I hadn't noticed before, but I do have grey hairs!! I am
      not proud to admit that I freaked out a little bit when I saw those
      grey hairs. It wasn't so much vanity that bothered me; I wasn't
      worried that I would be unattractive with grey hairs. Those grey
      hairs at my temples were screaming at me something that I didn't
      really want to face: I AM GOING TO DIE!!

      When it comes to death, I am somewhat schizophrenic. Sure, I know
      that I am going to die, in theory, but I don't really want to think
      about it too much. I think I am still young (but 37 really isn't
      young is it?), many people tell me I look younger than my years, so I
      thought I didn't really have to think much about getting old and
      dying. In short, I was in denial about my impending death; yet, here
      was the evidence screaming at me in the face: grey hairs! I am
      getting old and I am going to die. Those grey hairs were my wake-up
      call. I don't have as much time as I think. I don't have time to
      dilly dally around anymore. I need to face up to the fact that I am
      going to die, and reflect on that fact again and again. I am afraid
      of dying.

      I would guess that fear of death is pretty universal. Everyone is
      afraid to die, right? Even those who say they aren't afraid to die
      are lying to themselves and others- they are afraid to die. Only an
      enlightened person isn't afraid to die, because an enlightened person
      doesn't really die- he, she passes into paranibbana. But, fear is
      not a good thing. Fear causes ignorance and panic. The Buddha
      taught meditation on death to decrease fear of it and to increase
      wisdom. I guess I need to start giving that type of meditation a
      try.

      It is like I am sitting at a train station just waiting for the train
      to arrive. I don't know when it will arrive but I know that it will
      arrive. The death train is coming- and I am scared to death! (pun
      intended). What shall I do while I bide my time? I hope I use the
      time constructively.
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