“The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day, when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears, and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one’s master. And every day, without fail, one should consider himself as dead. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai.”
Meditating on death as being an inevitable part of this life’s journey might appear to be an action that would evoke negative emotions but actually when practised regularly is really liberating. The way that we think governs our actions and with all of the fear mongering with which we are surrounded with it is quite easy to bury yourself deep in layers upon layers of worry for yourself or others. Unless you break down these layers then they will manifest in your actions or even worse as mental or physical illnesses in your being, ranging from physical aches and pains to anxiety and depression. This self caused uneasiness could then be mistaken for symptoms of something more serious and can then lead to prolonged rumination on dying until you become mentally exhausted.
Acceptance of being a limited entity in your current physical form but also that your existence will always be part of a bigger system (Human Race, The Earth, Universe, God, Evolution) is the point at which you can pivot and start breaking down those layers of worry. On the grand scale, birth and death are occurring in every moment and death is as important as birth for the system to function. Scientifically, we are forms of energy and energy cannot be destroyed it can only transform from one form to another within the same system. Spiritually this translates to oneness and self realisation that you are part of something bigger than the sum of your own being.
The worries that exist with Covid-19 are that you or a loved one could be infected and then end up being one of the 20% of people that suffer complications so seeing all the images of packed intensive care units and people trying to hang on for another breath will obviously be distressing. With this kind of imaging projecting itself constantly, our conscious mind is being externally conditioned and keeping us in an elated state of fear. In normal times the media would not be so obsessed with reporting deaths by illness but they, as that cycle goes… are just serving our growing morbid obsession and delivering the content we are asking for as we look for answers.
UK Death Rate 2020 per 1000 people
|United Kingdom – Historical Death Rate Data|
|Year||Death Rate||Growth Rate|
Wouldn’t it be nice if they were also reporting on new births daily!
The current birth rate for U.K. in 2020 is 11.433 births per 1000 people
Meditating on death is not difficult but certainly an action that can help you overcome one of life’s biggest fears. The action I personally take is as follows
- Sit Down and close my eyes
- Take deep breaths in that fill you to the bottom of your stomach and then exhale slowly
- Imagine scenarios in which you are a dying
- Think about them deeper and try to visualise the whole picture by painting even the finest details. Where you are? Who is present? What are the surroundings?
- Think of the objects, the pain and the feelings you would have if this was your last breath
- Let the fear fill you as your breathe in
- Exhale out the fear
- Open your eyes
- Feel grateful for the moment of now in which you exist
- Feel appreciation for the value of your living days
- Repeat with another scenario of dying a different death
The first few times you may feel scared but after doing this exercise regularly you will condition your mind to feel at one when thinking about inevitable death. Your emotional state will remain constant when these thoughts arise and you will be able to observe these thoughts and then manage your emotions around them. This grounding exercise helped me greatly with anxiety.