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Death Meditation: How facing our mortality can enrich our lives.

My Mother says kissing a man without a mustache is like eating eggs without salt. Which is a better way of saying - take the scenic route. Say I love you when it’s true. Drive 12 hours just to touch. Buy kumquats because they’re called kumquats. Call someone you love little kumquat. Write letters. Recite Poems. Be verklempt. Rise early to hunt the moon. Eat pastries whose name you can’t pronounce. Astonish everyone. Haunt everything. Sing, even if poorly. Press the peel for zest. We’re nothing but brief bodies. Hearts, fragile as parakeets. Spit, lips, & longing. All we’ve got is this skin. This necessary salt. Joy Sullivan

Death is an experience we will all have in common. We are all moving towards it.

So why has the west stopped talking about it? Does that have anything to do with how much fear we have developed around it?

Death Meditation is the process of meditating on your mortality.

It’s is not morbid or a meditation on suffering but aimed to shift our hearts towards gratitude. Markers of status, petty disagreements, & societal titles loose their power.

Meditating on death can look like-

  • acknowledgment of death & inevitably

  • mental life review & joy intake

  • gratitude practice

  • visualization of the thresholds - birth, death, & rebirth

“When you confront death, it does help you put things in perspective, it helps you see what’s really important and what’s not important.” - Lisa Cohen, Professor of Psychiatry

What would life look like if it was forever? Would we wait another 350 years to make amends or follow our dreams? Yeah. I think so. A lot of us anyway. Is it not better to think now of what we want and what we want to be remembered for? I find since I have opened up to death meditation my hugs are held just a little longer and my words have been far more kind. Because this isn’t forever & every moment counts.


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