Learning how to live

Post written by Suraj Shah.

How do we know that we are really living?  How do we know that we are making the most of this precious life?

Only once you master the art of dying, do you really learn how to live.

Taking life for granted

I’m approaching 30, and I’ve taken it for granted that I’ll live till 80. I imagine I’ll have a full 50 years of my life to live out all my dreams and desires.

I’ll have 50 whole years to build up my business, to start and grow the family, to have a healthy lifestyle, to travel widely, to advance spiritually.

If I have 50 years, surely I can afford to put some of these important things off till tomorrow, right? Surely tomorrow will always be there…

But do I really know that I’ll live a full life to be 80? There are certainly no guarantees.

Length of life is not guaranteed

Our ayushya karma that we are bound with in each life determines the span of that life and we generally don’t know what that number is. So yes, we could live to the ripe old age of 80 and beyond, or our life could come to an end tomorrow, or even within the next hour.

This life could come to a close within the next few moments, and would leave so many dreams and wishes unfulfilled.

So knowing all this, what choices can we make about how we wish to live and how we wish to utilise each living moment?

Choosing how to live

  1. Contemplate on what this life really means to you.
  2. List out what’s important for you to spend your life doing.
  3. Pick out the most important thing on that list and focus your thoughts onto it.
  4. Do that today.

What have you chosen to focus your attention and energy on today?

How To Overcome Grief When A Friend Passes Away

Post written by Suraj Shah.

Have you recently experienced the loss of a close friend?

Friends come and go in our life. Some of the best ones stick around for a very long time, particularly when life becomes difficult and they are around to help us see through the toughest of times.

However, when a person dies, society’s belief is that the immediate family constitute the rightful mourners, and only they are deserving of condolences and support. Unfortunately, this means that friends of the deceased are generally forgotten about.

When a close friend dies and you have been forgotten, what can you do about it?

1. Attend the public mourning service

By attending the mourning service, such as a funeral, wake or prayer meeting, you get a chance to pay your last respects, along with many of the other people that your friend knew.

2. Participate in the family’s mourning

You may also have the opportunity to visit the home where your friend lived and spend time with the family, supporting them at home with any chores, or being around to lend a compassionate ear. They may even ask you to take on a role to replace an absent family member (such as being one of the pallbearers at the funeral).

3. Organise your own memorial service with other friends

In case you didn’t find out about the death till it was too late and missed the funeral, hold your own memorial service to honour your friend’s passing. By involving other participants, you have a wonderful opportunity to find out more about your friend’s life and discover ways to support others who are grieving the loss.

Remember your friend, embrace their qualities

Even though not everyone will understand how important your friendship was, do take the time to reflect on magic moments  you shared together and your friend’s qualities that you can embrace and carry forward into your everyday life.

One Day Life Changes

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Heena Modi.

I wrote this poem when I was remembering my father. He passed away a few years ago. Perhaps it will help you understand someone else who has lost someone that they loved, will increase the compassion in you, or help you deal with your feelings about the death of a loved one.

One Day Life Changes

Fewer places to set at the table
Fewer seats taken in the car
One less person to cook for
One less person to eat with
One less person to look after
One less person to share things with
One less birthday to celebrate
One less anniversary to remember
One less parent’s day
Less future memories with them with them
No fewer memories from the

Or…

Are they still here?
Are they watching over us?
Are they helping us?
Are they holding us?
Are they giving us strength?
Are they manipulating us?
Are they fulfilling wishes which death robbed them of?
Are they finding their path to peace through us?
Are they learning the answers to questions they never dared ask?
Are they protecting us?

Will we ever know?
Will we ever see them again?
How?
Were they not a soul in a body which was simply a tool to help us SEE that soul?
The body has died.
Gone.
The soul has not.
So how do we recognise them now?
With a feeling?
A sensation?
A special energy?

A primary school teacher by day, Heena Modi writes about family, spiritual, and environmental matters at her blog.