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Birthing the Heart: Living our Death

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2014-01-21
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



I have noticed over the years that many of us are curious about death and dying but most of us want to hold it at arm length. With increased dharma understanding and maturity, we begin to want to close that gap. To do so we have to bring death closer; we have to start living it without interruption. What we notice is that it is immediately accessible and ultimately friendly. Dying is not self-controlled; it is the ultimate act of surrender. It requires both releasing our need to control and the courage to face life without the influence of thought.  Our self-controlled life is lived by thinking our way through it, so death means dying into quiet. In your meditation place nothing between you and the quiet that surrounds you.  A single thought is too much distance between you and that quiet. Simply release the need to think (without pushing thought away) and live the quiet.  Now you are living your death. After the sitting see what interferes with continuing to live your death.


What does it mean to let something die and how is that similar to letting go? There is a natural duration of an experience, a natural ending to every encounter, every conversation, every meeting.  Begin sensing this natural conclusion without trying to encourage a quicker resolution when an event is unpleasant or prolonging it when it is pleasant. Just let the beginning and endings be what they are as a natural sequence within time. Letting go is the simple act of nonresistance to what reality is offering. Letting go is living your death. Instead of trying to control the outcome, let go.  Let go of your demands and aversions to what is occurring.   Let go of your expectations, worries, and pain of the past.  Just let everything be as it is.


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