The Great Matter of Life and Death

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“Love and Death are the great gifts that are given to us; mostly, they are passed on unopened.” - Rainer Maria Rilke

In Buddhist teachings, the great divide between life and death collapses into an integrated energy that cannot be fragmented. In the Buddhist view, to deny death is to deny life; to live well is to die well. It is easy enough to repeat the truism that death is a part of life and is the only known fact of our existence. This, however, is not the place from which most Westerners function. Throughout most of our culture, the denial of death runs rampant, leaving us woefully unprepared when it is our time to die, or our time to help others die.

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