Death is Evolution

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“Death is the only wise adviser that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you’re about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you that you’re wrong; that nothing really matters outside its touch. Your death will tell you, ‘I haven’t touched you yet.'” ~ Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan

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I have been thinking of physical life as a stage in the process of evolution, and seeing the end of our physical life simply as a moment of transition to another educational campus. I imagine someone coming to me, when the moment of transition approaches, and saying, “OK. Enough. You have learned the lessons you needed to learn and taught the lessons you were brought here to teach. There’s no need for you to stay here anymore. It is time for you to leave this dimension and go the the next one.”

I like to think that physical death is just another moment of transition on this evolutionary journey. It is not that we reach the end of our journey when we die; it simply continues in another dimension.

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I can understand people feeling sad when a loved one dies. There is sadness in all separations. But this sadness, maybe, is just because that person will not be around, at least not physically, and we won’t be able to enjoy their presence any longer. But we all die, right? Impermanence of everything is the rule, right? So, we must accept death with equanimity.

For me, the problem is not that that I talk a lot about death; the problem is that we don’t talk about it enough.

I want you to know that I am happy, content and satisfied with my life, and thrilled with what lies ahead, both in this life and the next. I have had, and have a rich life, full of great experiences and relationships. I am highly blessed and experience great abundance. I am able to see magic, mystery and miracles all around me. I feel blessed because I have learned to notice beauty: the beautiful sunrise, the scents in the air, the dance of the leaves in the soothing breeze. I am grateful for the life I have, and the people I share it with, especially my wife and sons. Although I feel that I haven’t finished giving my contribution yet, I already feel that I am leaving the world a little better than I found it, not only through what I have done and will do, but also through everything my sons have done and will do. I like who I am. I am proud of my accomplishments. I have no regrets.

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I invite you to read the excellent book Sunset Stories: Lessons from the Dying for the Living by Paul Veliyathil, and these two blogs:

Death is Nothing at All – 1

Death is Nothing at All – 2

 


 

Let’s stay in touch.

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Take a look at my books at the Peaceful Ways online store

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– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

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– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

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– “Silent Peace Walk”

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We Are the Waters of the Great Sea

We are the waters of the Great Sea
Waves brought us here, to these shores
But here we cannot stay, except for a short while
We must return to where we came from
We are the waters of the Great Sea

~ Piero Falci


 

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Stay in touch.

Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/PeacefulWays/events/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/peacefulways

><><><><

Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store

http://peacefulways.org/store/

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

Silent_Peace_Walk_Cover_for_Kindle

– “Silent Peace Walk”

www.PieroFalci.com

www.SilentPeaceWalk.org

www.PeacefulWays.org

www.DAPAdiversity.com


 

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Piero Falci loves to observe, reflect, write, and teach. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who not only strives to live a life that matters, but who also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is a promoter of peace who works to advance the idea that Heaven is here, if we want it to be. He teaches mindfulness meditation and mindful living, and organizes Silent Peace Walks.

Dad is George Harrison

On this day in 2001, former Beatle George Harrison died from cancer.

Our family loves The Beatles, and Pedro, my son, finds a lot of similarities between George Harrison’s ideas and mine. He recently sent me a video of Katie Couric interviewing Olivia Harrison after her husband’s death, and wrote, “Papai é o George. (Dad is George)” We, then, engaged in a brief exchange of messages about life, death, the pursuit of an expanded consciousness during our lifetime, and about learning how to die before we die.

Pedro – Papai é o George. (Dad is George)

Papai – Aceito a comparação e fico feliz. (I accept the comparison. It makes me happy)

Pedro – Adoraria ver você e o George caminhando num jardim. (I would love to see George and you walking in a garden)

Papai – Eu adoraria também. Eu te amo Pepito querido, filhote do pai. (I would love that too. I love you Pepito, my dear son)

Pedro – Também te amo, papis (I love you too, papis)

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While watching the videos posted here, many things resonated with me. What caught my attention and invited me to a deeper reflection are findings and questions that have been part of my journey. That’s probably why Pedro says that I am like George…

He had a great sense of humor, and he was also very serious; he aspired to higher consciousness, a higher life. He reflected about life’s essential questions: “Who am I? Why am I here? What am I doing here? What should I be doing here? Where am I going?”

He appreciated the simple things in life. It’s nature really that he loved. He felt closest to God in nature. He loved people who would appreciate a leaf on the ground, and say, “Wow! Look at that!” 

He said, “Sometimes I just feel I’m actually in the wrong planet. I feel great when I am in my garden, but the moment I go out the gate I think, ‘What the hell am I doing here?'” 

He faced death with no fear, no regrets. He never really felt in control. He gave his life to God a long time ago. He wasn’t trying to hang on to anything. He was fine with it. He went with what was happening. He said. “You can’t just, at the end of your life, start thinking about God. It’s not just something you stumble upon. Consciousness and self-realization… you have to work for it.” George dedicated a lot of his life to attain a good ending, and I don’t have any doubt that he was successful.

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Papai – Heed the advice and don’t wait until the end of your life. Work on the attainment of a higher consciousness every day. Immerse yourself in moments of silence and solitude, however brief, and live mindfully, paying attention to the here-now. This must become your diligent daily discipline. I don’t have any doubt that that was what George did, and that he achieved success!

Pedro – É você. Eu te adoro. (It’s you. I adore you)

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Here are the lyrics of two of George’s songs that, in my opinion, clearly show the spiritual path he was on, his understanding of Oneness and of the inevitable impermanence of all things, and his readiness for calmly undertaking the transition from this dimension to another:

Within You Without You
by George Harrison

We were talking about the space between us all
And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth, then it’s far too late, when they pass away
We were talking about the love we all could share
When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love
With our love, we could save the world, if they only knew

Try to realise it’s all within yourself
No one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you

We were talking about the love that’s gone so cold
And the people who gain the world and lose their soul
They don’t know, they can’t see, are you one of them?

When you’ve seen beyond yourself then you may find
Peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you

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Art Of Dying

by George Harrison

There’ll come a time when all of us must leave here
Then nothing sister Mary can do
Will keep me here with you
As nothing in this life that I’ve been trying
Could equal or surpass the art of dying
Do you believe me?

There’ll come a time when all your hopes are fading
When things that seemed so very plain
Become an awful pain
Searching for the truth among the lying
And answered when you’ve learned the art of dying

But you’re still with me
But if you want it
Then you must find it
But when you have it
There’ll be no need for it

There’ll come a time when most of us return here
Brought back by our desire to be
A perfect entity
Living through a million years of crying
Until you’ve realized the Art of Dying
Do you believe me?

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All things must pass
Sunrise doesn’t last all morning
A cloudburst doesn’t last all day

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Suffering and death are inevitable. I will not make my own suffering and my own death, my enemies.

 


 

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Let’s stay in touch. Like Peaceful Ways on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/peacefulways

Learn about upcoming workshops and retreats at the Peaceful Ways website www.peacefulways.org

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Buy my books at the Peaceful Ways online store

http://peacefulways.org/store/

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

///

Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

///

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– “Silent Peace Walk”

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www.PieroFalci.com

www.SilentPeaceWalk.org

www.peacefulways.org

www.DAPAdiversity.com


 

Unaware of the Imperishable Light

If you are familiar with “The Four Agreements” (a popular book by Don Miguel Ruiz) you will remember, “Don’t take anything personally.”

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I am called to remember that even though I have been conditioned to think in terms of “I,” the truth is that nothing is about me. As much as I am conditioned to think this way, I am not the center of the Universe, and therefore I should not give myself too much importance, or take anything personally because there is no “I.” The same is true for you: it’s not about you. You are not the center of the Universe, so don’t give yourself too much importance, and don’t take anything personally because there is no “You.”

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“Certainly there are a distinct “me” and a distinct “you” operating in our everyday relationships with the world. Each of us comes as a unique package of qualities and conditions shaped by myriad factors. We call this “my self.” Yet, when we look closely into our lives, we see that we are made up of thousands of what the Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls “non-self” elements, such things as earth, water, fire, air, space, carbon, oxygen, parents, genes from the entire planet pool. The same constituents that make up the sun, the stars in the night sky, and the salty seas are part of our common, embodied heritage… it is easy to forget all this.” ~ Saki Santorelli, Heal Thy Self

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“Nothing whatsoever is to be clung to as I, me, or mine.” ~ Buddha

When the Buddha was asked, “In brief, how is a monk liberated from the destruction of craving?” he replied, “A monk who has understood that nothing is worth clinging to as me, I, or mine, directly knows all things.”

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But why do we give ourselves so much importance?

We came to explain this sense of separation that we experience through this thing that we call “Ego.” The ego makes us believe that we are separated from and in competition with others. According to the Buddha, we will all experience the following eight worldly vicissitudes throughout lives: Gain and loss / Praise and blame / Pleasure and pain / Fame and disrepute. Trying to cling to gain, praise, pleasure, and fame, while thinking that we can shield ourselves from experiencing loss, blame, pain, and disrepute is illogical and impossible. Well, the ego craves praise and recognition. It wants to win, feel superior, feel that it is better than others. Well, the ego is not a good adviser. Listening to the ego and its demands is a sure source of suffering, because the ego leads us to do unwise things. The ego is the one who takes things personally, gets offended, and feels the need to retaliate. The ego is the one who believes that the way to get rid of our pain is to seek revenge and inflict pain in someone else. The ego mistakenly believes that if we would wipe out our enemies (as if that would be possible!) everything would be fine. The ego wrongly believes that violent means can bring about the peace we so desperately seek.

We’d better not listen to the ego. We’d better not take anything personally. We’d better not cling to anything as I, me, or mine, because we are more than these mortal physical beings that the ego makes us believe we are. We are manifestations of an energy that is ever present  and immortal.

Take a moment to reflect on this passage:

There is a Light that lights every man that comes into the world. That Light is Eternal, All-Powerful and Imperishable. Only that which is subject to birth is subject to death. The Light is the extension of God into man. It is not born nor can it die. ~ Douglas K. DeVorss , in Eulogy for Baird T. Spalding,  in The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East, Volume 6.

Under the rule of our egos, we grew unaware of this Imperishable Light that lives in all of us. We have forgotten our original nature. We have forgotten that every child comes into the world with this light, full of love, gentleness and kindness. We have forgotten our  pure essence. We have forgotten who we are and why we are here.

Under the rule of our egos, we have made of this planet a place of widespread insanity. Why do we feel this compulsion to compete and defeat others all the time? Why do we oppress, exploit, enslave, take advantage of, torture, and kill other beings? Why are we so violent? Why?

Let us remember who we are and why we are here. We are here to learn, and the most important lesson we all need to learn is to tame our egos. We are here to learn to diminish our selfishness and expand our selflessness. We are here to develop our modesty and contain our arrogance. We are here to learn to grow in compassion and service to others.

Now, let us pause and see what is really happening. Even though things may look bleak the truth is that for every selfish and harmful act there are millions of selfless acts of kindness. There’s a lot more good than bad in the world, and we are perfectly equipped and capable of diminishing what is bad. How? By doing even more good. So let us love, care, and share. Let us focus on the abundant good that exists in our world. Let us realize that Heaven is here, if we want it to be.

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“He who has realized that nothing is worth clinging to as I, me, or mine, knows all things.” ~ The Buddha

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‘The Buddha once said that the core message of all his teachings could be summed up in one sentence. … That sentence is: ‘Nothing is to be clung to as I, me, or mine.’ In other words, no attachments—especially to fixed ideas of yourself and who you are.’ ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, Arriving at Your Own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindfulness

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Stay in touch.

Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/PeacefulWays/events/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/peacefulways

><><><><

Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store

http://peacefulways.org/store/

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

Silent_Peace_Walk_Cover_for_Kindle

– “Silent Peace Walk”

www.PieroFalci.com

www.SilentPeaceWalk.org

www.PeacefulWays.org

www.DAPAdiversity.com


 

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Piero Falci loves to observe, reflect, and write. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who not only strives to live a life that matters, but who also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here, if we want it to be. He teaches mindfulness meditation and mindful living, and organizes Silent Peace Walks.

The Potato Principle – 2

“Rien ne se cre, rien ne se perd.” ~ Lavoisier

According to the French scientist, Lavoisier, “nothing is created, nothing is lost.”

potato principle lock

What follows is some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s wisdom which came to me though his book “No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life.”

Thich- Thay-Shambala-2006-larger

Nothing is born, nothing dies. Our true nature is the nature of no birth and no death. Only when we touch our true nature can we transcend the fear of non-being, the fear of annihilation.

Our true nature is the nature of no coming, no going. We have not come from anywhere, we shall not go anywhere. When conditions are sufficient, we manifest. When conditions are no longer sufficient, we no longer manifest. It does not mean that we do not exist.

Not only do the notions of coming and going not express reality, neither the notions of being and non-being.

Nothing has a separate self, and nothing exists by itself. If we examine things carefully we will see that all phenomena, including ourselves, are composites. We are all made up of other parts. We are made of our mother and father, our grandmothers and grandfathers… and innumerable non-self elements. We see that all that has existed, exists, or will exist is interconnected and interdependent. All that we see has only manifested because it is part of something else, or other conditions that make it possible to manifest. All phenomena are neither produced nor destroyed, because they are in a constant process of manifesting.

To really understand this is to be free from fear. It is to become enlightened. It is to live in inter-being.

We have to practice looking deeply like this to nourish our awakened understanding of no birth and no death in our daily lives. In this way we can realize the wonderful gift of non-fear.

Looking deeply, we should also see that there is no birth, there is no death; there is no coming, there is no going; there is no being, there is no non-being; there is no same, there is no different.

The cream of enlightened wisdom is the insight of no birth, no death. When we have this insight we will have no more fear.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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If you would like to read the first installment of The Potato Principle, just click.

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“After hundreds of thousands of millions of years, every particle of clay has passed through every kind of vessel. Every body has particles that have “belonged” to every other body. The vessel-bodies are so tightly packed that there is no distance between them, one shape curving into the next, a valley in one is a hill in another.” ~ Jan Chozen Bays, “Embodiment”


 

Let’s stay in touch.

Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/PeacefulWays/events/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/peacefulways

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Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect, and write, and who not only strives to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches mindfulness meditation, mindful living, and the official Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He organizes Silent Peace Walks.

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Peaceful Ways online store

http://peacefulways.org/store/

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

Silent_Peace_Walk_Cover_for_Kindle

– “Silent Peace Walk”

www.PieroFalci.com

www.SilentPeaceWalk.org

www.peacefulways.org

www.DAPAdiversity.com


 

 

 

 

 

Death is Nothing at All – 2

“Whatever it is that occurs at death, I believe it deserves to be called a miracle. The miracle, ironically, is that we don’t die. The cessation of the body is an illusion, and like a magician sweeping aside a curtain, the soul reveals what lies beyond. Mystics have long understood the joyousness of this moment. As the great Persian poet Rumi puts it, “Death is our wedding with eternity.” Bit not only mystics have seen through death’s illusion. The eminent twentieth-century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote, “For life in the present there is no death. Death is not an event in life. It is not a fact in the world.”

I believe that death accomplishes the following miraculous things:

  • It replaces time with timelessness
  • It stretches the boundaries of space to infinity
  • It reveals the source of life
  • It brings a new way of knowing that lies beyond the reach of the five senses
  • It reveals the underlying intelligence that organizes and sustains creation

In other words, death is a fulfillment of our purpose here on earth. Every culture offers a deep faith that this is true, but ours demands a higher standard of proof. I think that proof exists, but it cannot be physical, since by definition death brings physical life to an end. To see this proof, we must expand the boundaries of consciousness so that we know ourselves better. If you know yourself as someone beyond time and space, your identity will have expanded to include death. The reason that human beings keep seeking fulfillment beyond the stars is that we sense that our own mystery lies there, not here in the realm of physical limitation.”

~ Deepak Chopra, in his book Life After Death, The Burden of Proof

 

December 25

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Let’s stay in touch.

Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/PeacefulWays/events/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/peacefulways

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Buy my books at the Peaceful Ways online store

http://peacefulways.org/store/

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

Silent_Peace_Walk_Cover_for_Kindle

– “Silent Peace Walk”

www.PieroFalci.com

www.SilentPeaceWalk.org

www.peacefulways.org

www.DAPAdiversity.com


 

 

Death is nothing at all – 1

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

~ Henry Scott Holland

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The following passage was given to me by my good friend, Paul Veliyathil (1), author and hospice chaplain, who lovingly ministers to the dying and their loved ones…

The Beauty of Death

While death is a painful reality for the living, I believe, it is the most joyful and beautiful experience for the dying, because it is the release of the soul from the shackles of the body which is the source of all our problems. Besides, it is a homecoming, the re-joining of the individual soul with the Universal Soul, like the waves returning to the ocean.

People have always wondered what happens at the moment of death. Nobody has come back to tell us. However, Neale Donald Walsch, author of a series of books called “Conversations with God, ” in his book, “Home with God: In a Life that Never Ends,” gives the following description of the death experience, which is the best I have ever seen in print. He call it the “Moment of Mergence.” Here it goes:

“Again, words cannot be found to adequately define or accurately describe this feeling — partly because the feeling is huge. It might be characterized as a single, enormous conglomerate feeling that encompasses a thousand individual feelings, now slowly filling the soul. A feeble attempt would call it the feeling of being warmly embraced, deeply comforted, dearly cherished, profoundly appreciated, genuinely treasured, softly nurtured, profoundly understood, completely forgiven, wholly absolved, long awaited, happily welcome, totally honored, joyously celebrated, absolutely protected, instantly perfected, and unconditionally loved — all at once.”

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I think of those whom I knew and who have transitioned from this physical dimension to another. I also think about my own transition, and how much I want to be prepared to welcome it peacefully and joyfully when the moment comes.

Every end is a new beginning. Every departure is followed by an arrival.

Death is nothing

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(1) Please, check Paul Veliyathil’s books

Sunset Stories: Letters from the Dying to the Living

T.H.R.I.V.E. Six Keys to a Fuller Life

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Let’s stay in touch. Like Peaceful Ways on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/peacefulways

Learn about upcoming workshops and retreats at the Peaceful Ways website www.peacefulways.org

><><><><

Get my books at the Peaceful Ways online store

http://peacefulways.org/store/

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

///

Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

///

Silent_Peace_Walk_Cover_for_Kindle

– “Silent Peace Walk”

///

www.PieroFalci.com

www.SilentPeaceWalk.org

www.peacefulways.org

www.DAPAdiversity.com


 

The Overcoat

I think.

I have memories.

I have desires.

I exist.

I am.

Who am I? What exactly is this “I?”

I think I know who I am, but the “I” that I am is certainly more than my body — or the many bodies I’ve been in. It has to be so because although the “I” is the same, the body keeps changing. As I look back at my life and think about it, my “I” has inhabited many bodies: the body of a newborn, a toddler, a child, a teenager, a young adult, and of an old man now. I ask myself, “Where are the bodies that I once occupied?” They don’t exist anymore. But I am still here. The “I” persists without those physical bodies.

I have recently learned that there isn’t a single cell in my body right now that was there seven years ago. I am dying all the time. Looking from another angle, I realize that while some cells are dying, other cells are being born. We are not only dying; we are also being born again and again. Both processes are taking place at the same time: death and birth. I keep dying and being born again.

Thinking about my final physical death, within this framework, I realize that death is not such a big deal: it is just one more death in the stream of deaths. I believe that the “I” that has persisted without the bodies it has once occupied, will still persist even without the physical body I may be ‘wearing’ at the time of my final death.

As my friend Bob once told me, “My body is just an overcoat. That’s all it is. When I got it, it was new and beautiful. The fabric was immaculate and soft. As years went by, it started to show some ‘wear and tear.’ It got dirty, and with time it came to  a point where I wasn’t able to wash the stains off anymore. The fabric lost its glow, and I couldn’t get rid of the wrinkles. Some holes started to show up. The overcoat lost some buttons, and I just went on wearing it without them. It will reach a point where it will be beyond repair. And then the time will come when I will have to throw the overcoat away because I will not be able to wear it anymore.”

overcoat

A lot of the pain and suffering we experience in life is due to our over-identification with self. But we have to come to the understanding that the “I” is just a construct of our minds, a concept that we have created, and that, as the Buddha has warned us, “nothing is to be clung to as I, me, or mine.” 

My friend Leslie, who had a near-death experience, tells that when she left her physical body she experienced an exuberant feeling of freedom. She tells that “the  feeling of freedom was combined with a deeper feeling of peace than I have ever known before or since…and exuberance/joy… And love. And the love was visible as the most beautiful white light imaginable. I was surrounded by love in the form of light. And I was in my true home.” She explains that in that moment she felt expansive, light, free, and realized how dense, heavy, and constricting the body was. Dying was, for her, a liberating and joyful experience. It was like removing a heavy overcoat. She says that although not comparable in magnitude, dying produces a feeling somewhat similar to taking off every single piece of clothing that may be bothering and constricting us after a long day of hard work, and going skinny dipping. It is a liberating and joyful feeling! She affirms that there’s no need to be afraid of death.

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Heaven’s Perspective is the tile of the book where Leslie Lott describes her near-death experience. Check it out. Here’s the link: Heaven’s Perspective

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Sailing to Byzantium
W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.