I find I have a different thought about life after death meditation. (Pun intended.) Life becomes a cruise. Ever been on one? They're quite enjoyable. People are usually much nicer than they are at home. Almost everyone tends to take things in their stride, especially those on their first cruise. There is usually much less bickering. People help each other. Often, people trust each other more; at least, those on the ship do. Friendships are easier to start up, but they lack the attachment that normal friendships have. A person's "Stuff" just doesn't matter as much, almost like there is a suspension of negativity. Again, this is what it is like for those new to cruising. Usually, after that 3rd or 4th cruise, people begin to get a bit jaded--losing their Beginner's Mind.
Well, before I was born, there seems to have been quite a bit of time. After I die, it seems that there will be quite a bit of time. I don't remember what happened before I was born, and even if I did remember, how do I KNOW that it isn't just my mind playing tricks? I don't, if truth be told. I can believe anything I want, but the only way to KNOW is to be aware as it is happening. So, I am aware that I became aware at some point in this lifetime, in this body. I have a working hypothesis that this body will cease and my awareness may continue on, but I don't KNOW that as I am AWARE now and I won't be aware then until then becomes now.
****Here are a few interesting videos to help drive home our mortality. Both of these videos feature soccer players - young, healthy as a person can be, seemingly. They are stark reminders that there is only one heartbeat, one breath, between this awareness and whatever comes next - if anything. These guys likely had dates after the games they were in. Chances are, they recently bought a car, or got into meditation, or...or...or...perhaps they were reading a post like this one a few hours before they found out what lies on the other side of the curtain of unknowing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42klb5HjvBkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VVZQWx7rac&feature=related
So, I can choose to believe Buddhism, but it is a choice of a belief. I can choose to believe any darn thing I wish, but again, it is all just a choice of a belief. What really matters is THIS; the feel of the keys beneath my fingers. The sound of the clicking. The feeling of cold in my feet and fingertips. And, the feel of my heart beating in my chest.
Because there was no awareness that I know of before I was born into this form (despite what I might believe or even remember, memories have been proven to be able to be manipulated) and I am not sure of awareness after I die--though I have a belief, something that might even be called a "knowing"--then these few years embodied is a vacation from the unknown. I am conscious! How cool is that!!?!!
Since we are all on this cruise (but few know that it is a cruise), what do I have to be worried about? We are all perfectly safe - there is no way to get off the boat alive, as far as I KNOW. So we are safe in our mortality.
Ah, but then, what's the use of living? Why not? Hence, the Assurances. It is very late here and I am very tired. I'll let someone with a memory post the Assurances. If not, I'll do it another time.
Yes, meditation on our deaths really changes the way we live our lives. For me, I now know that there is not a single wasted moment...as long as I am aware of the moment that passes. Otherwise, I might as well be sleeping and having a dream. Hmmm...I wonder...naw! ;-)