When someone is in our heart they are always in our heart – through life through death through all their lifetimes and all our lifetimes too. That is how the Bodhisattva vow works, that is why we can make a vow to bring all beings to Awakening. It makes sense because we are connected with all beings in our hearts whatever life circumstances they are in or identities they have adopted. Continue reading How should we practise for those who have died? Do we focus on their ‘old’ identity? Should we expand the practice to all beings too?
You don’t actually need to maintain that pattern. Every little inch of it could be given a little nudge and a push and somehow, at some point, it could all collapse and it could be a new day, a new life, a new you and a whole different feel about life and about everything. It does happen in the end. Continue reading What if Reflecting on Impermanence & Death Feels Hopeless?
Reflect on the poignancy of impermanence and on the inevitability of death. Let the significance of that really strike to your heart and reflect on what is most important in life in the light of that fact. Notice how this thought heightens your awareness and how it could be used to intensify your heart wish for clarity and confidence in relation to the path of awakening Continue reading How the Inevitability of Change & Impermanence Heightens Our Clarity/Awareness
Each person is a mandala centred on the heart which continues through life and death and into future lives. Each person has a unique pattern of relationships with all other beings all of whom meet in the heart – all our hearts interpenetrate. Continue reading When someone dies, are our heart connections with others strengthened by our shared loss?
Many Western Buddhists struggle with this. It is not so much that we have to believe in life after death as to give up our belief that life ends at death. Instead, we need to be honest about the fact we are unsure what life means anyway and that is what we are looking to Dharma fo Continue reading Do you struggle with believing in rebirth and karma?
Bearing death in mind is not a matter of turning away from the beauty of life. It is about enjoying life to the full because you are not deluding yourself any more. You come to really know what life actually is. Continue reading Student’s Question: How can we enjoy worldly things, knowing that they are impermanent?
To access our ever-present inner resources we need to connect to what I call the Heart Wish, a place somewhere within us that is the source of all our wishes. By this I don’t mean something we wish for; it’s not our ideas about what we think we would like, but a deep place in our being that those ideas emanate from. Continue reading Article: What is the Heart Wish?
The Buddha’s path means giving up attachment to all we are holding on to. It means giving up our cherished views about ourselves and the world. This can be as scary as death itself. It is easy to have doubts, thinking that maybe the whole idea of Enlightenment or Awakening is a pipe dream or a fantasy. Deep reflection on death, however, can help us cut through this kind of doubt. Continue reading Why Reflection on Death Is Our Dearest Friend
The continuity in essence is in the openness, clarity and sensitivity of our being – and that is not in time or in space. It is continuity because it doesn’t change. This is a very deep point to ponder on. How is there continuity between a person in one life and their rebirth in a future birth? That is a question about how we can appear to manifest in a world in time and space even though in essence we are not limited to time and space. This is a very deep question. Continue reading A Student Asks: What is it that continues after death? What is that continuity that passes from life to life and how does it do that?