The Death and Dying email class with Cheri guides participants in looking at how egocentrickarmicconditioning/self-hate causes fear and regret, not just around the subject of death but around how we are living our lives. We have included here some of the participants’ contributions and Cheri’s responses. In each segment below, the participant’s contribution is first, followed by Cheri’s response.
Note: The “R/L” at the end of some contributions indicates that the participant has a Recording and Listening practice.
Seeing that worry about the potential death of loved ones substitutes for considering this person’s death. Also noticing that egokarmicconditioning/self-hate says there’s no appropriate time for this examination. Yet, while my death is "unthinkable," there's still urgency to complete everything in time. In presence, death seems like another life experience. R/L
You’ve given a great picture of how egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate uses this subject, and innumerable others, to manipulate and control us and why we want to bring the conscious awareness that will put a kibosh on ego’s process. “This isn’t the right time to consider your death. Your death is “unthinkable. NO! Do not think about that!” At the same time there’s the urgency. “You’ve got to get everything done. You’ve got to be present all the time. Don’t miss anything!” If we aren’t aware of that stuff going on—and ego is doing that with about a kajillion subjects—it’s running the show! Gassho
I am aware that death is inevitable but I do like to think it is years away. I have a sense that I want to make everything “right” before I die. Death is not the problem but dying without everything being “right” would be a problem.
Here’s a little word to the wise: “Right” is a code word for ego that translates roughly as “Get a person to chase ‘right’ and you can make that person suffer for a lifetime.” A suggestion: Practice dropping the duality of right/wrong, practice seeing all of Life as “as Life is” or “perfect” (either works equally well), and drop the “just there to make you miserable” conversation in the head. Okay? (An R/L practice will help!) Gassho
(Assignment: What would you like inscribed on your tombstone?) She didn’t let the threat of death keep her from living life. People are dying all around me, and my mortality is very real. I can no longer pretend death won’t happen. I cry every day because I’m deeply depressed on this, and pretending can’t cheer me up.
If I may offer a suggestion: Start practicing in a way that will end that. Crying every day because of depression about dying one day is the result of “living” in a conversation with egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate. This whole practice is designed to end that “relationship.” Could not help noticing the lack of R/L on your submission. That lack answers the question, “Why is this happening to me?” Just a word to the wise…. Gassho
I looked at how amazing this life has been, saw the kindness and caring I want to be remembered, then saw ego bring in a time “you don’t want people to remember.” It gave me an opportunity to love, accept, and appreciate ALL of this life. R/L Gassho
Now there is an encouragement! There you are, seeing how amazing your life has been, seeing all the kindness and caring. Then ego drops in a little memory of “that time you don’t want anyone to remember, that time you need to be embarrassed about and ashamed of” and what do you do with that? You take that as an opportunity to bring “that” into love and acceptance as well. HA! Take that nasty, hateful ego! That embrace is what’s possible for us—all of us! Gassho
I am avoiding participation in this class because it only seems to highlight the lack in my life. What I’d like to be remembered for is not how I am. Then egocentrickarmicconditioning has a field day telling me what’s wrong. I see this and am stuck! R/L
Stop listening! It really is that simple. You’re listening to a pack of lies with the sole purpose of making you miserable. You don’t have to listen to that. When you listen to it you get convinced what it’s saying is true. Turn attention to thisherenow—sunrises and sunsets and blue skies and bird song and trees and flowers and music and all the things you love and what you find beautiful and all the kindnesses you’ve ever experienced and…. Plus, you can listen to conversations with Sangha over 12-13 years on Open Air and last year’s yearlong retreat and on and on and on. We have the choice. Your life is as full as you let it be. Focusing on that yammering negativity is the only thing making it appear to be lacking. That’s the truth. Gassho