I had a spiritual moment reading O magazine of all places. (it was $2/yr on Groupon!)
I scanned the article. Martha Beck and a woman talking about the woman in “uncharted territory” and trying to “find a compass.” In the 2nd page, she mentions the woman’s state as “liminal.”
I read it as “luminal” and somehow related to dreaming and dying. My reality is wavering, heh. Liminal means threshold. As waking is to dreaming and dreaming is to dying, we lose our reference points. Same for other life altering situations (illness, death of a spouse, etc). The bardo teachings apply to everything.
I took this “liminal” word to somehow relate to Bardo of Becoming as well, then got confused. Luminal, the wrong word, I thought was a phase in the Bardo of Dying. And now I’m thoroughly confused. So jumble all those together and I had an ‘AHA!’ moment. Perhaps I’m resisting some “mini-death” or maybe the real death, who knows. My wallowing martyr can one-up this woman. So I’m writing from that place. (shrug)
I’m like one of those old sour people who hate everything and make everyone’s life miserable but they just won’t die!
Contemplation of death is not morbid; it is a fantastic motivator to ‘wake up’ in life. Just don’t tell any medical or therapy professional or they’ll send you right to the psych ward under suicide watch.
Here is one that cracked through part of my ego during a week meditation ‘retreat’. The result is acceptance.
If it is better for me to be ill,
Give me the energy to be ill.
If it is better for me to recover,
Give me the energy to recover.
If it is better for me to die,
Give me the energy to die.
(this translation is by McLeod, who uses “give me the energy” instead of “grant your blessings” as Tibetan is traditionally translated)
I also think about death a LOT (like really a lot), and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Western culture completely ignores it for the most part–that’s crazy to me. I don’t really have a point for this post, just wanted to say you’re not alone in contemplating death.
My most favoritist place in the world wide world to walk my pup back in the day is “Fairmont Cemetary”. I have a couple other interesting shots to post too, but for starters:
My friend, Lee Kaplowitz, told me a story about visiting the Normandy cemetery after a D-Day anniversary several years ago. Lee, who is Jewish, noticed there were so few Jewish stars in the cemetery and was told that Jewish soldiers did not put their religion on their dog tags in case they were captured by the Nazis, hence, once fallen they were buried with cross markers. He did find one star and saw the dedication on it—which floored him. The name read " . . . Kaplowitz." He relates the experience as being “chilling.” Lee researched the late soldier who turned out not to be a relative, but the synchronicity was not lost on him.
Note: I had Buddhist on my dog tags. Did I do that unconsciously in case I was captured by the Vietcong or NVA? Dunno.
The contemplation “precious human birth” just came to mind. Also a contemplation I worked with for a while: “I’m going to die, and I don’t know when.” I hope you get what I’m saying. That story touched me.
A confession: I internet stalked you. Over all the classes we saw each other’s names in recently, it hit me - I’m probably making my usual ‘sh!tty first impression’ to yet another ‘somebody important’ - AGAIN. (it’s become a personal joke at this point; this phenomenon literally never fails me that I’ve submitted for a new Refuge Name )
Vietnam vet, then Peace Corps. Even after the “unwelcoming home”. Your “bad habits” (aka - what is said to reincarnate) seem to have given you some teflon in this life. I can’t even try to imagine the experience, and then just “keep on keeping on” and more, in a positive direction!
AND - you can lucid dream! Ok “Hercules!”
(ya’know, Bob Thurman’s funny on Heruka… hehe!)
Actually, I was drafted—so I joined the Air Force to stay out of the Marines. I’m like a rubber duckie, bobbin up and down in the bathtub of life.
Hey, “stay afloat in the ‘reality’ boat”!
My bro fell in love with Top Gun the movie growing up, wanted to fly those jets more than anything. (step-dad flew cessnas, ex-step-bro flies the personal jet for the executive of one of the “groove auto” type companies, neighbor growing up flew Human Freight Airlines - it was ‘in the air’)
He was a rage head from hell - he acted out, I acted in. Eventually he went to join the military, the Air Force. But he was too tall! 6’5. (father is 6’9 and got out of the draft I think? His stories always got shifty)
So he did the next best thing - Navy S.E.A.L.
If only I had an inkling of his intention, determination, and charm, I might have done something useful with my life by now.
Like that movie Twins - he’s the Arnold Schwartzenegger of us 2 kids (who was actually his idol through his teens, ha!). And I - alas - was the Danny DeVito.
It kinda hurt when my mom agreed. But I was already breaking up that dance so it helped I guess.
Hard to beat Danny’s acting talent, writing talent and presence. His mind. Taxi is still my favorite sitcom (“What does a yellow light mean?”) and he’s been involved in some amazing movies/entertainment. I think he prospered when he didn’t let his “difference” make a difference. One of my heroes is Grandma Moses, so I have hope even at this late stage.