“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
The inevitable death. Your death. The fact that all of “this” is not going to last forever. The thought of your own existence not continuing can be scary. Sound depressing? Well, contemplating your own death doesn’t necessarily have to be. Lately, I’ve been thinking about death almost every day. I find it interesting that the older people get, the more they seem to think about death. On the other hand, thinking about death is almost non-existent with younger people. I think it would greatly benefit younger generations to be more mindful of death.
Mortality salience, or realizing that your death is in fact inevitable, can give rise to a much more appreciative, fulfilling, and present life. This appreciation and fulfillment can be found with or without any consideration of religious beliefs. In other words, your ability to appreciate life’s moments doesn’t depend on whether or not you’re religious. This is not to say that religion or a belief in the afterlife isn’t helpful, as religion is very helpful to me. There’s more to it than just religion in and of itself. A deep attention and presence is still necessary to fully appreciate the significance of what’s really going on from moment to moment. Being mindful of death and our mortality is a catalyst for this.
Most of the time, it appears that we all casually gloss over some very significant and deeply profound moments in our lives. Even the moments that can be categorized as mundane have just as much significance and profundity as any other moment. Sometimes, those moments don’t seem to register as important “in the moment.” Later upon reflection, perhaps as memories, we may feel those moments were in fact significant, but we weren’t really “there” for them. We find it hard to connect to the present moment when we are incessantly looking for happiness in the future, which never arrives. Read more