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Transformative Contemplations: A Personal Dive into Death Meditation


Hello everyone. This is Traci Arieli, end-of-life doula and founder of Comforting Closure. Today, we're delving into a thought-provoking subject: meditating on death. While the topic might seem intense, contemplating our mortality can provide profound insights. Fair warning, our discussion may get a bit descriptive.

Let's start by acknowledging death as part of life, something we all will inevitably face. Despite this, we often steer clear of thinking about it, let alone meditating on it. So, why should we meditate on death? The primary purpose of this practice isn't to instill fear or sadness, but to confront life's impermanence. Meditating on death helps us appreciate the present moment, nurturing a deep sense of gratitude. It can also reduce procrastination, motivate conflict resolution, and aid us in prioritizing actions based on what truly matters.

So how do we meditate on death? It's simpler than you might think. One approach involves finding a quiet place, relaxing your body and mind, and contemplating death's certainty versus its unpredictable timing. Ponder how death comes regardless of status, age, or wealth. Reflect on how your own death would impact your perspective on life and your current living manner. The goal here isn't fear, but a sense of urgency and purpose.

Another approach, the one I prefer, employs a more visual method of imagining the body's journey after death. The last time I practiced this, I had a profound experience that altered my perception of my body. I laid down, slowed my breathing, and imagined myself as a corpse. I envisioned floating above my body, observing its transition from a living being to an empty body, gradually decaying. I paid attention to each detail, my mouth falling open, my half-open eyes.

I found myself enveloped in sadness. Not due to death, but from the realization that I never appreciated my body when it was alive. I wanted to return to it, to not leave it behind. I thought to myself “It was a good body, it allowed me to experience life. I even pushed its limits – like that one day I cycled over 140 miles. Yet, I never acknowledged its worth. I was really hard on it – focusing on all its flaws”

That meditation instilled a profound appreciation of my body for me. My perceived imperfections stopped bothering me; it was as if a switch had been flipped.

While meditating on death might seem macabre to some, it can be a practice of acceptance, gratitude, and non-attachment. It encourages us to live fully and authentically, understanding that our time is finite. The goal isn't to fear death but to cherish every moment as if it were a precious gift.

Thank you for taking the time to watch this video.

If you have any questions, please comment below or reach out to me directly.

And if you’ve found this video to be helpful, please like, share, comment, and subscribe.


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