Tag Archives: death

Perspectives on the Eternity of Life–more from the Eagle Peak Annual

Did you see this in the Eagle Peak Annual?

A graphic containing words from Daisaku Ikeda

If you missed it, here’s some snippets. Perspectives on the Eternity of Life–and a Remembrance is one of six articles featured in the Eagle Peak Annual, September 2019

The words in the graphic sum up the major point of this article—living with the inevitability of death. And doing it successfully! In other words—happily and fearlessly with purpose, despite the certainty of your eventual demise. You can find this quotation–and other encouraging bits of wisdom here.

We all will die someday. How we live our lives will make a difference on what happens thereafter. Heaven, hell, rebirth–your faith and your choice. If nothing else, a life lived well offers an easier death and good memories of you by others.

Here’s a nutshell excerpted from the article: 

Death: As Victor Hugo said, “We are all under sentence of death, but with a sort of indefinite reprieve.” Do you give it much thought? Most people don’t–until a serious illness strikes, or they lose a loved one.

Many of the world’s religions and philosophies focus on what happens after you dieThey promise a hereafter—an eternal life in heaven—OR rebirth.  They don’t let you off the hook entirelyThat eternal life comes with a price—living your life according to some precepts or guidelines.

A Buddhist perspective on eternal life: You won’t remember a thing, but you will have do-oversA new body and mind with the same core entity—karma included. In other words, you start over where you left off, in karmic terms.

Whatever worldview you may have, living with the inevitability of death is a reality. Whether you practice an organized religion or not, there is a point to considering how you live YOUR life. We will explain.

And a remembrance: Recently, a friend of 35 years died, surrounded by friends and loved ones. He lived a full and happy life. He created value. He shared the joy of Buddhism with countless others. He left unafraid of the death that will supply a rest before another rebirth.

More snippets:

As a doctor and professor of neurology, Oliver Sacks knew much of death. He was also an accomplished author.  Awakenings, a book about treating of patients awakening from sleep after decades, was made into a movie. When he faced a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Sacks penned an op ed piece in the New York Times February 2015. It says, in part:

I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can.

Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.

On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

Still more excerpts from the Annual:

Apropos of Sacks’ expressions, Daisaku Ikeda has said,

Ideally, we should live every minute of our lives valuably, as if it were the last moment of our lives. Those who live aimlessly are left with a sense of emptiness at the end of their lives, but those who live all-out, striving right to the end, will die peacefully.

Leonardo da Vinci says, ‘As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, a life well used brings happy death.’

One aware that death could come at any time will live each day to the fullest.

Today, I find much to agree with in the words of Sacks and Ikeda. That didn’t come for several years after my years in Vietnam. My fears of death were short-lived and only episodic in Vietnam. I saw no death while there. What I did see and experience corrupted my youth. Along with Watergate, the war shattered my illusions about America.

To reclaim my virtue and ideals, I began a quest to reform the people or institutions that failed me. I learned much along the way, during my college years—despite the interruption of classes for protests against the war.

Some years later, I realized that reforming myself and not changing others is the means for attaining happiness and for making the world a better place. Yes, Sacks and Ikeda have it right.

Waiting for Westmoreland chronicles my path from Vietnam to Enlightenment. It takes a book to do that. A few excerpts can’t do that. But please read them anywayand maybe the book.

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Yes, the Eagle Peak Annual is Finally UP!

Better late than never?

We certainly hope you will think so. 😉

Cover of the 2019 Eagle Peak Annual with a picture of a magenta cactus bloom

The articles are LONG

So long we have nutshells or synopses early on so you’ll know what to expect. The magazine format, BTW, doesn’t permit the standard read more process. 

Here’s what’s in the Annual jump right in via the links 

The Climate Crisis
It’s no longer climate change–it’s now a crisis. That means the change is serious—and getting worse. We need to deal with it NOW. Why? Because of the accelerating change and the trend line. You probably already believe it’s happening. This article will help you inform friends, family and others of the facts–and what needs doing.

The Third Age–Living It and Loving It
Are you retired or will be soon? Are you living your dreams? Enjoying your golden years? Got a plan if you’re not there yet? We have the info you need–money, travel, staying involved, health and more. You don’t have to be rich, you just need ideas. We have some, plus a guide to finding many more.

Perspectives on the Eternity of Life–and a Remembrance
We all will die someday–that’s a certainty. How we live our lives will make a difference on what happens thereafter. Heaven, hell, rebirth–your faith and your choice. If nothing else, a life lived well offers an easier death and good memories of you by others. Read on for perspectives on a different view of eternity.

More Writing Tips–New and Revisited
If you’re a writer–aspiring or otherwise, tips are always welcome. You can never know too much about the art or craft of writing. More tools, more ways to connect with a reader. We get so many, so often, it’s hard to keep up with them. Bookmark these. Then try them when you have the time.

Images from Here and There–Landscape and More
A photo gallery from our own home–outdoors. Southwestern New Mexico may be arid but it’s not a desert. Lots of beautiful flowers bloom here–even if they are atop cacti. The rocks are pretty in the West as well. So too further north. We love it here but we’re going more places in the Third Age.

Works in Progress–Coming from Eagle Peak Press
We have an ambitious schedule for the next several years. Lots of books coming–short story collections, Sci-fi, mysteries and more. Read all about it in this compilation of works in progress. PLUS read excerpts or samples of the new short story collection coming for the 2019 holidays. The stories range from flash fiction to traditional.

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13 Years Since 9/11–What it Means to Me

In 2008 and again in 2011, I posted commentaries on 9/11. It is time to do so again, adding a different perspective. At the outset, I offer my profound sympathies to those who lost friends and loved ones to the actions of Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist followers. Today it is ISIS or ISIL who would target America as well as people of Iraq and Syria. While death comes to us all, it is  disturbing when it comes unnaturally at the hands of another. From my Buddhist perspective, this is a function of karma–the effects one receives as a result of causes one has made. Calvinists might have a different perspective–predestination or what others call fate. It seems preferable to the minds of most, I suspect, to absolve the victims of any blame and place it squarely on the terrorists who commandeered the planes and flew them into their targets. Blame is undeniably correctly put on the terrorists but that is missing the point–they are the instrumentality of one’s karma. There are those people who rush to get onto a plane that turns out to have a mechanical problem that causes it to crash, killing all aboard. At the same time, others are delayed by traffic and miss the plane. Different than a terrorist plot? Yes, in terms of how it happens but not in result.  Continue reading 13 Years Since 9/11–What it Means to Me

Memories of a Mother’s Death

Perhaps I should have noted it then, but in posting my comment on the passing of Martin Luther King and mentioning my mother’s teaching me about the evils of racism, I missed the fact that she died exactly five years before King. As I came to visit her in the hospital that day in 1963, two weeks before my 16th birthday, I nonchalantly walked into the large ward in Hennepin County General Hospital. Continue reading Memories of a Mother’s Death