Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What matters ... when it matters

I met a yoga instructor today who also happens to be a music therapist to terminally ill patients, many of whom are very close to dying. She shared what she believed was one of her most important observations from her interactions with these patients: the ones who die well are those that loved well. On further probing, she said that by dying well she meant those who die peacefully, and that tends to happen to people who dont have many regrets, or much unforgiveness within them. When you know you are so close to death, you think only about what truly matters in the end. When you are so conscious of your death - and reflecting on your life - your regrets are less likely to be about your career, or what dreams were unfulfilled, but more about whom you may have hurt, and whom you may have been unable to forgive, by clinging to anger and hate over all these years. And your joys are likely to be about those that you loved. Either way, then, those who loved more fully and more plentifully seem to have lived happier lives, and finally, in death also find a lasting peace.

"To love is to know Me, my innermost nature, the truth that I am."
- Bhagavad Gita 18.55

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love."
- I Corinthians 13.13

"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do."
- Jalal-ud-din Rumi

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