Death is defined in the dictionary as, “the permanent ending of vital processes.”
Vital is defined as, “full of energy, lively.”
Process is defined as “a natural series of changes.”
This means that death would be the permanent end of life-energy in all of its forms. Anyone who is willing to look with reason can see that death has never occurred. Life-energy in all of its forms has never ceased. It is just as the old saying says, “Life keeps going.” It’s true that transitions occur. Change is always happening at the level of form. But life itself cannot end.
Awakening is realizing that all of life is life itself, ongoing, and not the temporary form.
Today’s workbook lesson defines death as an idea, and nothing more. It says this idea “underlies all feelings that are not supremely happy.” That is because happiness is a natural characteristic of life aware of itself. Whenever we are not supremely happy, our attention is distracted from our truth as life.
Let’s look at how this is experienced.
Imagine I am unhappy because my daughter prefers to stay in her room instead of joining the rest of the family for a day of activity. First, I look to see what I am feeling specifically. I notice that I feel a sense of loss, like something is missing from this day. In my perception, the day is not perfect because of my daughter’s decision.
I recognize that the idea “today is not perfect” is the wish for something different. I continue the practice from yesterday’s workbook lesson, and I pause to appreciate awareness-life-presence. I let go of all thoughts about my daughter’s decision, and I reflect deeply on the perfection of awareness-life-presence as it is.
After a few moments of appreciating awareness-life-presence, I look back at the idea that there is loss today. Is that true? Did I find loss in awareness-life-presence as I reflected on it? No, there was no loss in awareness-life-presence. It was exactly the same as it always is. The idea of loss was just a thought in my mind. I was able to experience it to the degree that I let my attention focus on it, but that idea has no affect on awareness-life-presence.
Let’s practice in this way today. Whenever you notice that you are not happy, take these steps:
1 – Look briefly to get some clarity regarding the specific feeling of unhappiness. (e.g., In the example above, the unhappiness was specifically a feeling of loss.)
2 – Look at the specific feeling, and notice it is a form of the wish for something different. You might ask yourself, “Do I think I would be happier if this was different than it is?” If the answer is yes, it is the wish for something different.
3 – Shift your attention to notice and appreciate awareness-life-presence for a few moments. During this time, let go of your thoughts about the situation related to your unhappiness. Give full, restful attention to noticing awareness-life-presence as it is.
4 – Next, look with reason to see if the specific feeling of unhappiness is a fact that was noticed in awareness-life-presence or just a thought in the mind. (For example, if the feeling is rejection, is there any rejection found in awareness-life-presence or is awareness-life-presence the same as it always is? If the specific feeling is guilt, is there any guilt found in awareness-life-presence? Etcetera.)
5 – With the recognition that there was no affect on awareness-life-presence, say to yourself, “There is one life, and that I share with God.”
Note: If you feel you do not have time to look at unhappiness fully during the day, you may go back to it with your journal at the end of the day.