The old saying goes, “Two things in life are guaranteed: death and taxes.” And while the government forces us to face taxes head on each spring, we are culturally conditioned to avoid the concept of death, in public and in the privacy of our own minds. However, reflecting on death is actually beneficial for humans to process our life experiences. Buddhists advocate open reflection on death, and The Bhutanese, commonly called the happiest people on Earth, are encouraged to think about death five times a day.
Meditating on death opens us up to the beauty of living. It puts things in perspective and encourages us to live every day to the fullest. While reflecting on death is not encouraged for everyone (such as those who have experienced trauma), it can be a powerful motivational tool.
So how does one start meditating on death? Start by writing down or thinking about what you would do if you had a day left to live, or a week, or 10 years. How do your priorities change with time? Allow yourself to experience the emotions surrounding death. What do they provoke in you? Death can be one of the most difficult subjects to address, but by facing it with an open and curious mind, the topic of death can transform from taboo to rewarding.