The Best Way to Die
By Jurgen Ziewe
I regularly receive letters, emails and messages from people who are facing their inevitable end and I am sometimes surprised by an element of sanguine acceptance that shines through, but not always. Sometimes there is fear, regret and suffering. So in order to find the right words I try to remember “How did I die?” “How did I manage to get the most out of my own death?”
So not so long ago I received a letter from a Buddhist monk who was on her death bed. It was full of serenity, beauty and love. I was moved to tears when I read her message. It was also full of gratitude, so I figured she must have known me somehow, but her gratitude extended far beyond, to the whole world. She was totally at one with her fate.
So this made me think, “What is the best way to die?”
From my own experience I know the absolute best preparation for your own death is living in the present moment.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, now over ten years ago, that was how I prepared myself for what I thought would be only a short time left for me down here. Two of my friends had recently passed from the same condition I was diagnosed with. But the simple act of “living in the present” had the most profound and transformative effect on me and I am sure it also contributed largely to my complete physical recovery in the end.
So why is “Living in the Moment” so powerful – which is focusing on what is actually happening – instead of what I am thinking or feeling about what MIGHT happen. The famous psychologist, Fritz Lang, once put it like this if you want to have clarity in your life: “Lose your mind and come to your senses.”
This is exactly what I did. I surrendered my thoughts and enjoyed my life through my senses. After a short time the world became the extension of my living room. Wherever I went I was always on home turf, no matter where I was.
Finishing with my body down here will be just that, a powerful acceptance of going home, especially as I am already home. The other aspect of living in the present moment, in the eternal NOW, is that there will hardly be a transition other than an experience of profound joy, ecstasy even, because I am already HERE and in the Moment. I am home already. So externally my new environment will be just as real, just as physical as this one, and if I didn’t already know any better, I will hardly notice any difference of having died, except that I will be relieved from the burden of carrying a physical body.
And this is where living in “The Present Moment” becomes the most powerful thing anybody can do to prepare oneself for death. Because my experience will be one of Being Home, even before my transition. And by being in the present I am by default in my true spiritual home, within my soul. And afterwards, maintaining this awareness, my new environment will be one I will only be able to describe as the proverbial heaven. That is what Home is.
After I heard the news from my doctor back in 2011 my life began to take a turn for the better instead of a turn to the worse. The result of my consistent spiritual practice, of living in the present, which was simply nothing more than “coming to my senses”.
“Seeing” with my heart, listening and speaking through my heart. I become continuously high, just like the Buddhist monk I mentioned in the beginning. I did not care or had any concerns with regard to the state of my physical condition and even as I nearly died, twice, during my hospital stay, I was happy, I was certainly bruised by what my body was enduring, but I was happy.
Two years after this episode, still living in the present, I went on a solitary silent retreat, in a mountain hut in Scotland. I was in a state of profound appreciation and gratitude and on day five I merged with my very essence. This was the week which I documented in my book “The Ten Minute Moment”:
I hope it works, if not I will keep looking may be for the future.
All the best,
PS. I created a series of videos answering questions about life after death, which people send in:
“Wherever I go nature is at work at a sublime level. Whether it’s in the world around me, in my mind or emotions or within the electrons of my computer converting numbers into shapes and colour which I can manipulate with intent. Wherever I look a miracle is taking place in the simple process of action and reaction, cause and effect, on every level and within every dimension.”