Svarasavahi viduso 'pi tatha rudho bhinivesah. - 2:9 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Abhinivesa is the strong desire for living which is within ALL of us, even the wise
what a powerful word and one that may cause great aversion in all of our minds.
Interestingly, Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras places the obstacle of aversion before this desire for clinging to life in the second book on spiritual practice.
Not many people want to talk about Death and yet it is something that will come to all of us without us having to do anything at all to induce it.
Change......is inevitable! and with that the endless cycle of Birth and Death.
As yoga practitioners, we are aware of the need to transform our ego from something that is very self-centered to something that is aware of the Higher Self. (beyond who and what we think we are)
Enough to make us feel uncomfortable and perhaps even squirm a little.
"You mean we have to improve our personality and become more compassionate and loving and less judgmental and selfish?"
We are given guidelines on how to live more harmoniously by embodying the Yamas (things to control such as greed, lying, gentleness and Niyamas, or things to cultivate such as more noble thoughts, contentment and an inner practice)
And yet we all dread the word Death or any subject around it, and therefore come up against a very real blockage in our spiritual unfoldment.
The Death Industry is massive, and will continue to become more powerful and busy as the aging baby boomer population increases.
They are not advocating family caring for their loved ones as a spiritual practice which is what is really is because it allows us to grow through personal reflection and practice.
And they are not doing that because of their greed and power!
Keeping the public ignorant for example on home funerals and green burials is becoming a thing of the past thank goodness with organizations like 'Final Passages' in Sebastapol helping to educate the public on what they can and cannot do for themselves as a loved one passes.
I recently went through an intense workshop with Jerrigrace Lyons on home funerals and green burials with a notion to helping me become better acquainted with my inner fears on the subject.
It brought up many emotions about how I would cope with loosing any of my close family members, or my own death, as well as giving me an opportunity to explore ways of helping others from a more practical standpoint.
Death midwives or guides are people who assist families in performing the final ritual of separation as a person dies.
* Washing and anointing the body
* Placing dry ice under the body to preserve it until burial or cremation
* Allowing the family time to sit and say their goodbyes. A 3 day wake is common.
* A time for some art therapy as the 'green' coffin is decorated by family and friends
* Prayers, ritual, song, group healing and personal reflection
* Helping the family sort out the paperwork and organization of final resting place
* Bringing back the old traditions of home funerals
The process of talking mindfully about death is a Kriya.
A positive, engaged,volitional, spiritual action that can speed up our evolution on the Earth realm.
But what can we do?
Here are some suggestions you might want to consider;
* Create an Advanced Health care directive that makes it easy for those you leave behind to carry out your wishes upon your death
* Talk with other like-minded people about all aspects of death and dying.
Check out the 'Death Cafe' Movement in England and now in the USA.
* Educate yourself on the options available in your area. (go to the Final passages website for more information)
* Read books and watch documentaries on the subject to become better informed.
"Final Rights" by Lisa Carlson for laws by state and the movie 'Departed' and documentary "A family undertaking' are personal favorites.
The body stops functioning in the world, disintegrates and is taken once again into the womb of Mother Earth.
From this womb, again in time we are reborn.
A resurrection into a new set of experiences modified by the horizon of awareness we have now and our actions and reactions to them.
Learning how to face death is a maturing process.
Don't wait until the inevitability of losing a love one forces you into making decisions based on unawareness of what options you have, to do something positive for yourself and other family members.
In the Kriya Dharma
NB: There will be talks and exhibitions by the Funeral Consumers Association on Sunday April 21 at the Los Altos Public Library from 2.30pm onward Please stop by.
I will be helping man the home burial desk.
www.finalpassages.org for more information on home funerals and contacts in your area.