Most of you think that Buddhism and meditation practice is all about being happy and you are not wrong in this. There is a far more grave aspect to the path. Everybody who lives will grow old and die. We try not to think about it when we are young but as we age and these things start staring us in the face a new kind of urgency develops. Life is a runaway train headed for destruction. It can end no other way.
Tragedy awaits us.
All of us. Some sooner than others but it is there. Pretending it is not there is the worst way to prepare because you do not prepare at all. By the time you are forty you sense it in your bones but you can put it out of your mind or at least push it to the back. You no longer have this luxury at fifty because you see it rushing toward you. You realize that you are going to be faced with the loss of loved ones at a time when you are weakening and least capable of dealing with them.
It is going to happen.
There is no light at the end of this tunnel that we can be sure of. So, all that remains is to acquire the skills to allow us to weather these losses, weather the devastation of age and deteriorating health and finally to meet our own deaths with our heads held high and calm in our hearts.
There is never as much time as you think there is. Know this and get busy.
You don’t have to wait for something ‘meaningful’ to come into your life so that you can finally enjoy what you do. There is more meaning in joy than you will ever need. The ‘waiting to start living’ syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious state.