Meditation on Life – and Death

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Meditation on Life - and Death. Faced with the reality of death, what seems important? Consider how can you use this knowledge in your life everyday.
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“It is crucial to be mindful of death — to contemplate that you will not remain long in this life. If you are not aware of death, you will fail to take advantage of this special human life that you have already attained.”


Our lives could end at any moment.

Did you notice your reaction to that thought? It’s one we shudder to think about. Never mind the fact that, one day, we will one day, lose the people we love.

How do most of us deal with this truth, most of the time?

We think, “That’s the kind of thing that happens to other people, not me.”

Or we simply stick our heads in the sand and don’t think about it at all!


It’s been said that the point of meditation is to prepare us for death.

“When people are facing death they come up against the truth of their lives. If you can face death you can face life.”

Bhutan is known as one of the happiest countries on earth. They attribute this happiness, at least partly, to a practice of thinking about death 5 times per day.


It was the acknowledgment of old age, sickness and death that spurred Siddharta Gautama, known today as the Buddha, to seek enlightenment.

He said,

“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditations, that on death is supreme.”


Or, if you prefer, think of the memorable words of Tibetan Lama Chagdud Rinpoche:

“When you have to go to the bathroom, it’s too late to build a latrine.”


In Tibet, the ground is too frozen to bury the dead, so they will chop up the bodies and leave them out for the vultures. These are known as the charnal grounds.

The Buddha, and many, many Buddhist teachers since, instructed their students to meditate at charnel grounds.

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Download this Entire Guided Meditation Script for Free, Just Enter Your First Name and Email Address:

About the author 

Sean Fargo

Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at

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