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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The poet Rilke asserted: "Whoever rightly understands and celebrates death, at the same time magnifies life." It would be all too easy to dismiss Rilke as an oddball for even suggesting that one "celebrate" death, since death is the ending of everything that is dear to us, is it not? But, the word "celebrate" actually means "to frequent"; in other words, to approach death daily. The spiritual teacher, J. Krishnamurti, implored people to die, psychologically, to the past in order to be wholly, fully in the present. Krishnamurti and Rilke have a shared understanding of the importance of dying each moment and, in manifesting the courage to do so, living is magnified, that is, enlarged.

We do just the opposite; we shrink from death at every turn. No one wants the perfect summer day to end nor this moment of exquisite love-making. We cling to that which gives us great pleasure or joy, because the ego falsely believes that in the perpetuation of pleasure lies permanence and security. What a monumental illusion that is!

To die, over and over, is to live. One's heart breaks. . . open to encompasses all.

lying motionless
on the sidewalk
the sparrow I was

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