The Immediacy of Death

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This precious human life is temporary.

Once you realize the preciousness of your human life and the potential you have for inner freedom, you turn to the second theme: impermanence. This human life with all its potential is precious, and it’s also temporary. You will die.

Why does such a somber theme follow immediately after "this precious human life," such an upbeat one?

Do you tend to think that things as they are now will always be? Ten years ago could you not imagine ever being the age you are now? If you’re not sick now, do you feel you’ll never be sick, even though all around you are people who have illnesses, often grave ones? Have people close to you died younger than “expected”? If yes, do you assume that can’t, won’t happen to you?

Reflecting upon how transitory life is, we know very well that some of our plans may not come to pass. We have no idea at what time we actually will die. We come to know for sure that we are going to die. All beings die.

We reflect on the immediacy of our death through the three roots:

  • You will die - certainly
  • There is no certainty when you will die
  • When you do die the core of your being is what you will take with you