Time and time again, Shosan tells us “Study death. Study death.” It builds the vital energy that conquers all.
So, following his direction, I have been studying death. My own passing, my own cessation of existence. I have sat with a sibling while they died. I have had a lot of losses over the years, of people close to me passing on. Even the ones who didn’t physically die, but left for another world and never looked back at mine, have been like dying loved-ones. They are as faint to me now, as those who have truly dropped their bodies and moved on.
It’s true, it does built that vital energy.
And today, as I sat, I took a slightly different approach. I studied a different kind of death. The death of my conditioning, my dependency on my conditioning, the chatter in my mind, the qualities and reactions that I tend to think comprise “me”.
You see, I have an extremely rigorous week ahead of me. My schedule will be very hectic, very non-stop, for the next three days. After that I get to relax and enjoy myself, but up front, right ahead of me, I have a gauntlet to run, and I am not looking forward to it.
At least, the conditioned part of me that is attached to different reactions that I’ve had in the past, is not looking forward to it. The different sorts of behavior and preferences and “individual” characteristics that I think make up “me” are really dreading it. As though it were a terrible noose around my neck that’s only getting tighter.
Those aspects of “me” which have already concocted a soup of trials and errors ahead in the next three days, are absolutely positively convinced that they are right and correct and perfect.
But they’re not. They’re only one small part of my whole. And they need to die.
I’m running out of time – I have to be somewhere in half an hour – but I will write more about this later.