Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Freedom From Death

We know we are immortal. We know we will always be together. And yet - in this life - we all have to experience the painful illusion of death and separation from our loved ones, again and again. With the recent death in our family of a beloved grandmother - my daughter-in-law's - we are all reminded of the limits of our mortal existence, which has little to do with our real existence. Without meditation it is hard to ever know this for sure.

Death surprises, saddens and frustrates us, even when we intellectually understand and expect it. The thing with death is that we cannot truly trust our five senses with their reports regarding so-called reality.

This inherent knowing that we are immortal, and always united, is like the sense we sometimes have in sleep reminding us that we are dreaming. Life is but a dream. Death and separation is nothing but an illusion - a very convincing one, but an illusion nonetheless. Love is the key to this puzzle. Knowing this, we may suffer a little less, and wonder about what it is like to wake up.

Buddha said "I am awake" and Jesus said: "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free". We will all wake up naturally once we have had enough sleep. Sleep then becomes infinitely enjoyable once we are awake and free.

This post is dedicated to all our grandmothers who taught us a level of freedom, joy, unconditional love, and compassion beyond even that of our mothers' whose own unconditional love for us is naturally handicapped by the many day-to-day responsibilities of mothering, with its many fears for our well-being. There is more freedom in the love between a grandmother and a grandchild. Love at its highest level is freedom and peace. Freedom and peace from all fears, worries, attachments, comforts, desires, hopes and dreams. When our loved ones die, it takes a long time to realize that they have just given us a new, unfamiliar freedom to again love differently. We don't want to trade our loved ones for this freedom or peace, and often resist this new level of love for years, but in the long run we have no choice but to drop this false idea of death, separation and abandonment.

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