The first book I read this year was The Art of Dying and it changed my life. The thing that changed my life before this was sitting my first 10-day Vipassana meditation course four years ago.
Art of Dying is a collection of relevant quotes from Buddhist scriptures and Vipassana teachers; some discourses from the 10-day meditation courses; and most importantly essays by, interviews with, reflections of individuals, and families of individuals, who suddenly find themselves struck by terminal illnesses. The common thread between these folks, other than terminal illness, is Vipassana meditation. Their memoirs range from dreading what is to come and being present with the dread to never feeling a shed of fear.
This book is incredibly powerful! And a tear jerker. My take away from the book is to die like these folks did — calm, peaceful, serene, unattached, beaming with radiance, ready for what’s next. Literally.
I say it changed my life because since I read the book not a day has passed when I did not do my 2x one-hour sits. I’ve meditated at 3 AM and 2 PM and I’ve napped if I was too tired to sit, and diligently woken up to sit afterwards. I still don’t have a set daily meditation schedule, but I have unwavering strong determination because of this book!
If you’re interested in getting your hands on this book, try pariyatti. Or your nearest Dhamma center when you’re sitting or serving there next.
4 thoughts on “The Art of Dying”
Thanks Geetali. Will definately read the book. Metta 🙂
Thanks Geetali! Just what I needed to hear. I’m reading the “art of living” currently which suppliments my meditation. Great to hear your dedication and motivation.
Thanks for the recommendation – I have a weekly group sit, but have had trouble for years establishing a daily practice.
After a 10-day, I’ll sit for an hour a day for a couple months, but then it drifts away. I’d love to sit daily, because it makes such a difference in the rest of my day, but life gets busy with stuff, and I put it off in so I can do all the “stuff”.
Meditation is a means not an end. The end is righteousness. People get lost in the means. I do meditation regularly, but my father never does meditation. However, I think my father is 100 times more evolved and successful than I am.