I feel a strong connection between death and meditation, a fascination and a fear. When I sit with you, it is somehow safe to close my eyes and meditate; when I am alone, it is frightening. Please comment.
There is not only a strong connection between meditation and death, but they are almost the same thing – just two ways of looking at the same experience.
Death separates you from your body, from your mind, from all that is not you. But it separates you against your will. You are resisting, you don’t want to be separated; you are not willing, you are not in a state of let-go.
Meditation also separates all that is not you from your being and reality – but the resistance is not there; that is the only difference. Instead of resistance, there is a tremendous willingness, a longing, a passionate welcome. You want it; you desire it from the very depth of your heart.
The experience is the same – the separation between the false and the real – but because of your resistance in death, you become unconscious, you fall into a coma. You cling too much in death; you don’t allow it to happen, you close all the doors, all the windows. Your lust for life is at the optimum. The very idea of dying frightens you from the very roots.
But death is a natural phenomenon and absolutely necessary too – it has to happen. If the leaves don’t become yellow and don’t fall, the new leaves, the fresh and young will not come. If one goes on living in the old body, he will not be moving into a better house, fresher, newer, with more possibilities of a new beginning. Perhaps he may not take the same route as he has taken in his past life, getting in a desert. He may move into a new sky of consciousness.
Each death is an end and a beginning.
Don’t pay too much attention to the end. It is an end to an old, rotten, miserable life style, and it is a great opportunity to begin a new life, not to commit the old mistakes. It is a beginning of an adventure. But because you cling to life and you don’t want to leave it – and it has to happen by the very nature of things – you fall unconscious.
Almost everyone, except those few people who have become enlightened, dies unconsciously; hence they don’t know what death is, they don’t know its new beginning, the new dawn.
Meditation is your own exploration.
You are searching to know exactly what constitutes you: what is false in you and what is real in you. It is a tremendous journey from the false to the real, from the mortal to the immortal, from darkness to light. But when you come to the point of seeing the separation from the mind and the body, and yourself just as a witness, the experience of death is the same. You are not dying…a man who has meditated will die joyfully because he knows there is no death; the death was in his clinging with life.