Love is the ultimate state of consciousness. This love is of a transcendental nature–not just the emotion-based physical level. This is the layer of Consciousness that has an infinite numbers of names. It is the layer that I attempt to Realize in deep meditation, contemplation, and prayer. I choose the word, “Realize”, as opposed to attain, because it is our true nature. In a sense, we have forgotten it. It is the realm of deathlessness. In fact, when someone dies the pain is due to the separation from their body–not the loss of Love. Because, what is left is what is Real and Permanent, and what is Real and Permanent is Love.
Death has not been as proximal to me as it has been to others. I have never lived in a war zone, I did not have friends succumb to violence in youth, my grandparents, parents, sibling, and spouse are either alive or have transitioned at a ripe old age. However, this year two friends, both in their middle thirties and who I had been very close to several years ago, passed away. Whenever death makes a showy appearance it causes me to reflect on impermanace and transition.
My husband, one of my greatest teachers, refers to death as the great equalizer–it is the one experience we are all guaranteed to partake in. However, it is also the one we have no concrete information on… we will only know when we arrive.
Here arises the question, how do we best prepare for this unavoidable journey? One place is with an understanding of the concept of avidya— the primal ignorance of identification with what is not who we are.
The Himalayan Tradition holds to the belief that, to the uniformed individual, what we appear to be and what we truly are is often misunderstood. What we are, according to this nondual tradition, is eternal, perfect, pure consciousness. What we appear to be is temporary, greatly flawed, and governed by the laws of the physical world–avidya is this misidentification.
How do we begin to dissolve the grip of avidya, the first step is knowing of it’s existence. The second is through our meditation and adjunct practices.
In meditation, we, initially, set down the false identities that are closer to the surface: teacher, student, asana instructor. Gradually progressing to the deeper ones: wife, mother, woman. Eventually to the deepest ones: human, fearful, temporary.
Many traditions discuss practicing for death– I particularly resonate with the sibling tradtion of Tibetan Buddhism and their “Death Meditations“. The Himalayan Tradition explains we must be a scientist “an interior researcher“– we musn’t subscribe to a belief because of blind faith– we must develop experiential knowledge. We can lightly knock on the entrance to deaths door by moving into the causal plane of consciousness with Yoga Nidra in savasana (the one asana that no one seems to translate into English “corpse pose”); or, we can move into superconsciousness with meditation and experience the Silence of the Center. Although these are temproary states, little by little one develops a knowing that these states are closer to our intrinsic one.
I have no intention of belittling the grief that we experince with the “passing” of a loved one through the veil. However, as this transition is inevitable for all of us it would behoove us to be as comfortable and unafraid of this journey as possible.
It tried to leave me,
but can the liver leave its heart behind?
it looked in the mirror,
used its two eyes to see me,
what looked back was a good man,
with a smile so kind
Made peace with it all
and am so happy to be me
embracing the lovely
That is my being combined.
Writing the story thoughtfully
of man and god, intertwined
Some use the old adage others are hampered by a blockage
still more complain of the contest’s early stoppage.
It used to be about all types of suffrage
or the top quality of your package
but thankfully that unique carnage
has given way to a growing spiritual assemblage.
The great advantage of our marriage to each other
and our growing courage
is releasing us from bondage, giving us strength as the right arm
or should I say appendage
of a collective that is our right and our secret heritage.
This is not the hopeless wreckage.
It is the total package
waiting for you and I to manage our miscarriage
and unpack our baggage.
What waits for us? Only limitless advantage
and the demise of outrage as we celebrate a brand new image,
and the obsolescence of preface as we engage in this great and complex voyage
that will lead us to love and ultimately safe passage into the new frontier of a