You are as the yellow leaf. The messengers of death are at hand. You are to travel far away. What will you take with you?
Gautam Buddha. The Dhammapada.

There are two things in life that are the most important. The first is birth, and the second is death - everything else is trivia. The first has already happened, now nothing can be done about it. The second has not happened yet, but can happen anу moment. Hence those who are alert will prepare, they will prepare for death. Nothing can be done about birth, but much can be done about death. But people don′t even think about death, they avoid the very subject. It is not thought to be polite to talk about it. Even if they refer to death, they refer to it in roundabout ways. If somebody dies, we don′t say that he has died. We say God has called him, that God loved him so much, that whomsoever God loves he calls earlier. That he has gone to heaven, that he has moved to the other world, that he has not died, only the body has fallen back to the earth but the soul, the soul is immortal.
Have you ever heard of anybody going to hell? Everybody goes to heaven. We are so afraid of death, we try to make it as beautiful as possible: we decorate it, we speak beautiful words about it, we try to avoid the fact.
But Buddha insists again and again ... his whole life after his enlightenment for forty-two years continuously he was talking, morning, evening, day in, day out, year in, year out about death. Why? Many people think that he is a pessimist - he is not. He is neither optimist nor pessimist. He is a realist he is very pragmatic. He means business, because he knows only one thing is left for you about which something can be done and should be done - and that is death.
We talk about everybody who dies - that he has gone to heaven, that he has become a beloved of God, that God has chosen him, called him forth ... ways of avoiding death.


But Buddha talks continuously about death. He says: You are as the yellow leaf. The yellow leaf represents death. Any moment it is going to fall down, dust unto dust. Any moment and death is going to possess you. Tomorrow may never сome, even the next moment is not certain. This is the only moment you can be certain of, the next moment you may not be here, What are you doing to prepare for that great journey into the unknown?
Death is powerful, but one thing it cannot take away from you - that is meditation. If you can become rooted in your being - alert, conscious, watchful - you will see that you are not the body, and you are not the mind, and you are not the heart. You are simply the witnessing soul, and that witnessing will go with you. Then you can witness even death, That witnessing is the source of all religiousness. Those who have attained to that source are the enlightened ones, are the buddhas.
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