to carpe diem,

Most of us live in denial of death and take life for granted.

By contemplating death, we can accept its inevitability
and embrace the time that we do have
with clarity and purpose.

Give this revolutionary practice a try,
and see what becomes clear for you.

Death is certain.
Everyone dies. Todos somos calaveras.

  • Think of all your past heroes. They aren’t just storied legends; they were once alive, just like you. Recall all of the people you know who have passed. See them. Recall the power of their life and feel their absence on this earth.

  • Consider all the people you know who are still alive — and know they will all die.

  • Put your hand on your heart — you will die. Heat will leave your body, your cells will stop moving, your tongue will get dry and loose taste, your sight will collapse into darkness, sound will recede, and your heart will slowly stop.  

  • As you exhale, imagine that this is your last breath. Notice any resistance, grasping or clinging. Try to surrender, let go, and practice dying in peace.

  • Your body is fragile. Think of all the ways there are to die — accidents, old age, even your own body can kill you. Imagine a crowded oncology waiting room…

  • Nothing can help you at the time of death. Only you will experience your own death. In this way, we all die alone. You will die alone.

The time of death is uncertain.

  • Every day you have less time.

  • Death catches most of us by surprise. We may not have warning.

  • What was the last thing you said to your loved ones? What if those were truly your last words?

Nothing matters at the time of death save the love and wisdom we have known and shared.

  • What matters in those final moments?

Our life and time here is precious.

  • What are you here for? Who are you here to serve? To love? How are you here to grow?

  • Commit to living with purpose and intention and full awareness of your impermanence.

  • At the same time, let go of any fear or worry. Feel the cycles of the seasons, the tides of the earth coming in and out, and imagine yourself receding into death with gratitude and peace, like a wave that crests and falls back into a great ocean.  

  • You are a part of the whole, interconnected with absolutely everything and everyone. Everything you think, say and do matters. You and your practice can have a tremendous impact on the whole of existence.

  • So again, commit to living every day with purpose and intention and full awareness of your impermanence. How will you spend your precious time?