If You Just Don’t Die!
How to live your life, if you just don’t die? This is a question you might want to ask yourself, if you are in your senior years.
Life might not have been fair to you with happenings that might have been beyond your control. No matter what, life is not meant to be a punishment for you. If you just don’t die, you will have the wisdom to live it through.
“Life begets death; one is inseparable from the other.
One is form; the other is formless.
Each gives way to the other.
One third of people focus on life, ignoring death.
One third of people focus on death, ignoring life.
One third of people think of neither, just drifting along.
They all suffer in the end.
Trusting the Creator, we have no illusion about life and death.
Holding nothing back from life, we are ready for death,
just as a man ready for sleep after a good day’s work.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 50)
“Abiding in the Creator, we do not fear death.
Following the conditioned mind, we fear everything.
Fear is a futile attempt to control things and people.
Death is a natural destination of the Way.
Unnatural fear of death does more harm than good.
It is like trying to use intricate tools of a master craftsman:
we end up hurting ourselves.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 74)
If you just don’t die, the wisdom in living the rest of your life is no more than . . . , just like eating a meal!
Yes, living the rest of your life is just like eating a meal:
Before your start your meal, say your grace. Just like being grateful and thankful that you just don’t die, and that you can still have this meal. Always begin the day with gratitude and thankfulness.
Before you pick up your food, take a minute or two to still your mind. There is no need to hurry; you’ve all the time in the world to finish this meal. Just like being conscious of living in the now. Be mindful of what is happening around you.
There is no right or wrong about eating the food in front of you—eating is just a process, a way of living and surviving, just like breathing in and out. Just like knowing that now you don't need to eat to socialize, to relieve stress, to satisfy your food cravings, or to make yourself feel better—you eat simply because you just don’t die. Don’t life too seriously; jus enjoy the day.
Look at the food in front of you. Notice the color, the smell, and the texture of the food. Just like being conscious of the people and the happenings around you.
Now, begin eating. No matter how small the bite of food you have, take at least two bites. Take your first bite. Chew it very slowly but thoroughly, noticing and enjoying your actual sensory experience of chewing and tasting. Chew every morsel of food to explore the differences in taste, texture, and smell. Just like enjoying whatever that is still available to you that you still find enjoyable.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau