I heard about a new app yesterday on Dan Harris' podcast about an app called WeCroak.
It's an app that notifies you that you will die five times a day at random times, just like death. It sounds like a powerful app to reduce attachment or deal with grief.
An article from the Atlantic about it.
Huh, reflection on death doesn't seem to be that popular. Go figure.
Let me just make brief promotion of the idea. To sort of paraphrase the conclusion from the article, being regularly reminded of death leads less to an impending sense of dread and more to an appreciation that you are alive now and how precious that time is.
But then I rarely have an impending sense of dread, and when it comes it’s never about death... death is comfortable, an old friend.
In meditating with death as an object, I've also observed the dissolution of dread but also that of appreciation, preciousness or any other characterizations of "alive now". The level of concentration on death doesn't make it more real. It isn't happening right now. I've found meditation on death instead establishes an accute awareness of what actually is happening right now: life.
I'm going to have a t-shirt printed with the slogan:
"Every minute, is one minute less.
Every day, is one day less.
Every breath, is one nearer to the last breath you will ever take."
Live this moment to the full.
I mean, how many do you have left?
I think this, every single day.
'We don' need no steenking apps!'
If contemplating death is life affirming. Bravo, go for it.
I prefer the life affirmation, mindfulness approach more effective.
I like death. I find death funny, ironic, levelling and ... here she comes ...
Meditating on the certainty of death destroys attachment and motivates you to practice Dharma. So... Cool.
Dear Friends of Life, Death and the inbetween moments, ?????
Sharing this letter/email to my dying cousin. It is not very compassionte
Any tips for a better, ‘Croak it’ email most welcome ... I was told he may not be alive by the weekend. ?
Hear you are almost dead. That's life. ??
?♥️? You have done well. Family. People who appreciate and love you. You found out what is important. People. Memories. Family. Pictures. Letters to our friends when we are done. ♥️♥️♥️
Death, like life and indeed most things I do not take seriously. Living, dying ... ah well ... ?
Today again reminded why the chicken crossed the road. She did not. Just walking and the road happened to be there. Chickens don't have much need for reason. ?
In a similar way, 'what came first, chicken or egg' - it was the cockerel. You knew ... ?
Chris has emailed me that she may have shocked me about your impeding death. Not in the least. Every day experience for me. She was very calm. A great gift and one to hold on to for all of us ...
I am not sad in the least. You have much to celebrate.
I will be posting this very personal letter to my Buddhist online group. And people will enjoy it. Because that enjoyment is what we have amidst the indignity, loss and hardship. We pass on gratitude, joy and celebration.
Anyway as you now know ... It does not matter. It is OK. You did good.
? Take Care ?
If that did not get censored, shock him into coma, we may be able to get something more compassionate to his family, appreciate any help ... ???
May send him a voice recording ...?
It could depend on their sense of humor. If I received that letter on my deathbed it might make me laugh and lift my mood, except for maybe the paragraph about sharing with your Buddhist group.
In general, I think reflecting on death is meant for personal practice and reflection rather than proselytization.
Also I've heard it taught that if one's mood tends to be low or depressed then reflection on the preciousness of life is a more appropriate reflection and if one tends towards being caught up in the world or an exited mood then reflection on death is more appropriate.
You'd like Chamfort @lobster - here he is in a translation by Sam Beckett -
The trouble with tragedy is the fuss it makes about life and death and other tuppenny aches'
Maybe tone it down a bit though @lobster - I'm quoting again, P.G. Wodehouse this time when Bertie Wooster quotes Marcus Aurelius to one of his friends "The way he damned and blasted Marcus Aurelius and the great web made me realise that the gag had failed to give balm and that maybe Marcus Aurelius' cracks are never the thing to give the troops when they have just stubbed their toes on the rock of fate" ❤
I thought it was a good letter @lobster ... I must’ve missed it when it was originally posted. Perhaps try and include an amusing anecdote? Or a reference to the Tibetan nine-point meditation on death which spurs one on to practice because life is of uncertain length?