Week 10, last week – Online winter retreat, presented by Deer Park Monastery. To follow along copy and paste this in your browser, there are talks, questions and readings posted every week (for the past 10 weeks): http://deerparkmonastery.org/teachings/the-ten-gates-online-course-winter-2012-2013/the-ten-gates-online-course-winter-2012-2013
The Five Remembrances
I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill-health. There is no way to escape having ill-health.
I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
I inherit the results of my actions of body, speech, and mind. My actions are my continuation.
1) If I knew that my beloved one was going to die today, what would be the most important thing for me to say or do right now?
Honestly, I don’t know. I would want to spend time with them, embrace them and let them know that it’s OK. It’s OK to die, it’s OK to leave me behind and that death is a part of life. I would want to meet them with a calm energy so that they can pass away without fear. And who knows if I could actually provide that or not, it’s hard to say. I would also want to help them tie up any loose ends that they felt necessary to take care of before they died.
2) What is preventing me from doing/ saying it right now?
The only thing that prevents me from doing anything really is myself. It’s important to me to express my love to my friends and family regularly and to provide my love and support to them on a daily basis and to the best of my ability I do those things. There is no time like today to let someone know how much you value them.
3) What are some of the ways that I “hide” in the sense of shutting things out?
The ways that I hide would be with netflix, the computer, and sugar. When I use them to hide what I’m hiding from is myself or a certain experience or emotion that I’m uncomfortable with. I devote a lot of practice to these areas and the more I become aware of this pattern the more I am able to transform those habit energies. It is a process. The first step in transformation is to see what needs transforming.