Going “Home”…

It has been more than three months since my father’s passing at the early of age of 69.  (You may see my previous post about what I have observed through his deterioration from cancer.)

I would be lying if I tell you I did not still recall his passing with certain amount of grief, guilt, disbelief and a host of emotions.  However, something in me has shifted and it is more than a “change” but a “transformation” (a term originally from chemistry I believe) and like a chemical transformation, something is changed permanently.

I think it would be a good idea to share the content of my recent newsletter about my learnings from this experience here, with the hope of benefitting others.

Thank you for those of you who wrote me and shared.  I trust that it provides opportunity for both you and me to heal.  There’s a story that says a mother in Buddha’s time went to Buddha to ask him to save her recently dead son.  Buddha told her she was to bring back some mustard seeds from a household that did not have someone who had died.  After knocking on the door of every household, she couldn’t find one that fit the requirement.  In the process she realised that she’s not alone in her experience and she realised death and change is a part of life.  It was said that she later became one of Buddha’s disciples.

Our Attitude to Death…

Have you noticed that the mere mention of “death” is almost offensive in our prevalent culture as if just saying it will bring “bad luck”…?  Death is a heavy subject to be avoided.  And we live in denial of it.  But somewhere on the planet there are people who see death in very different light and their approach is much “lighter” and more aligned with natural laws.

I picked up the classic “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” and read it in earnest after my father’s passing.  (While I knew about the gist of the book it was in this reading that I was ready to take in the messages)  Whatever faith you have, or like me, respectful of all faiths but attached to no institution, I think it is a good idea to start thinking about your exit from your physical body as we do not know when that is to happen but we do know it will certainly happen one way or another.  Wouldn’t it be good if we could be more prepared?  From the practical side of things like do you have a will and how you would like to be buried to the spiritual like how you can prepare your state so you can return to “the source” with the minimum of shock and confusion… Countless accounts of near-death-experience seem to suggest very similar processes people go through when they “die”…

In going through the “grieving process” (the phase itself a Western invention), I have slowly come to realise how fortunate I am to have to confront the death of an important person in my life now and so I can start seeing my life and LIFE itself in a new light.  “Life and death is a continous flow” says the book.  Now I understand it from a new more integrated level, and a part of me actually looks forward to experiencing it first hand when it’s time for me to exit.

Like a lot of things in life, we will not really know until we experience it, but yet sometimes it can be “‘too late” when the time comes, if we are not prepared.

Father Thank You For Giving Me My Second Life…

It may not be appropriate or easy to share exactly how I came to a new understanding.  Suffice it to say, I have been totally humbled by the miracle and glory of life (and death, which is really an integral part of LIFE) and I am in total awe of who “I” really am and how “I” am connected with everything else, including “my father”, in the immensely spacious consciousness that we are all a part of.  And how freeing to know “I” is an illusion and “I” belongs to the much bigger and wiser consciousness that the egoistic “I” could ever imagine.

My father and I when I was one month old

It is as though I was given a “second life” by the “death” of my father’s physical body.  From my father’s funeral, which was a completion and powerful healing process, my life has taken on a new LIGHT.  And I am clear this will never leave me.

Often when we coach others or self coach about fear or anything that seems distressing, we ask, what is the “WORST” that could happen?  And if there’s such a thing as the “worst” thing that could happen to us, it would be “death” because generally we see “death” as the negation of “life”.  “Death” is the end of everything that is important to us.

But now, as I realised, if DEATH is beautiful and inseparable from LIFE which is in an awe-inspiring phenonmenon in itself, then what is there to lose sleep on in “life”?  What is there to be afraid of?  What is there to sweat about?  One would be hard pressed to find anything to stress about… Or at least not for long!!  The key is just to reconnect to this realisation.

What I had also realised at a deeper level, is that we experienced “death” every moment, at the cellular level.  Every moment our celles are dying and being created.  This arbitrary “life” and “death” is a continuous process in every aspect of our “life”.  We discard old beliefs and create new ones.  Every night we go to sleep and the next morning we wake up.   Our consciousness dies and is being newly created every moment…

I have not had a “near death experience”.  But definitely for me, my father’s passing has been the closest experience I have had to an NDE, and a powerful one in which I definitely experienced an old “me” having died and a new “me” having been created, one that is lighter, fearless and more at peace…

Many who have experienced NDE describe that as “going home”, only that this “home” is extremely peaceful and filled with unimaginable love and light.  Indeed, it’s so good to “go home” and know that home is always there.  I first had that realisation when I started practising yoga and meditation.  It’s so encouraging to see yoga and meditation and practices of similar nature is much more commonplace now than years ago.

When was the last time you went home?  If you do not have time to “meditate” why not try making time to just watch your breathing and slow down or take a walk when you can.  “Go home” everyday (smile).  It’s a most beautiful place… I am glad for my father to have gone home in a more complete way.  And at home we connect as one, as we have, and we shall…

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