In the West, we donít have a tradition of conscious death. What you can do personally at this moment is to bring your awareness to the dying process, ridding it of excessive fear and anxiety.
Think of someone close to you who is elderly and close to dying. Put yourself inside the mind and body of the person. Now begin to assist the person in the shift from passively facing death to actively creating the experience. Be comforting and reassuring, but focus primarily on shifting the personís awareness from ďthis is happening to meĒ to ďI am doing this.Ē
Here are the main themes to talk about: I think youíve had a beautiful life. Letís talk about the best things you remember. You can be proud of having turned out to be a good person. You have created a lot of love and respect. Where would you like to go from here? Tell me how you feel about what is happening. How would you change it if you could? If you have any regrets, tell me about them. Iíll help you let go of them. You have no more need for sorrow. Iíll help you let go of any that you still feel. You deserve to be at peace. You have run your race well, and now that itís finished, Iíll help you home.
Having an imaginary conversation is a good way to reach down into yourself. This exercise should bring up very mixed feelings, since we all harbor fear and sorrow at the prospect of death.
The domain where life and death merge is always here with us, and by paying attention to it you connect yourself to a precious aspect of awareness.
Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).