The Daily Dharma – August 4, 2021

Oil portrait painting study of Reagan in a black hooded cape.
Reagan Portrait Painting Seamus Berkeley

To understand more deeply what evokes this sense of [the] preciousness [of all things] and how it gives meaning to a path with heart, let us work with the following meditation. In Buddhist practice, one is urged to consider how to live well by reflecting on one’s death. The traditional meditation for this purpose is to sit quietly and sense the tentativeness of life. After reading this paragraph, close your eyes and feel the mortality of this human body that you have been given. Death is certain for us – only the time of death is to be discovered. Imagine yourself to be at the end of your life – next week or next year or next decade, some time in the future. Now cast your memory back across your whole life and bring to mind two good deeds that you have done, two things that you did that were good. They need not be grandiose; let whatever wants to arise show itself. In picturing and remembering these good deeds, also become aware of how these memories affect your consciousness, how they transform the feelings and state of the heart and mind, as you see them.

Jack Kornfield

from A Path with Heart; A Guide through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

Chapter: Did I Love Well?