The area of personal concern of greatest interest to me right now is getting ready for death. This used to be just because I was getting old, but my wife of 50 years died recently, and that has made it all the more urgent to get right about death. I have placed my meditations on her death, which was of the deepest significance for me, at the end of this part of Which Way. In these pages I continue my thinking as before.
I'm thinking we should treat getting ready for death as like getting ready for childbirth. We are all pregnant with death although the periods of gestation vary. And while sooner or later we all witness birth and death, no one can penetrate the mystery of these passages without themselves actually passing through. I hope to train myself to greet the moment of passage like a mother giving birth for the first time —
Doris and our firstborn, Eric, a little after their passage.
My thinking begins with something strange to me about the Five Remembrances of the Buddha.