One of the main reasons we practice the Dharma is to prepare ourselves for certain death. For some, it is the only reason they practice – but that reason alone will make their Dharma practice worthwhile. These days various aspects of the Dharma, like mindfulness, are becoming more and more popular, but rarely as a preparation for death and definitely not as a preparation for what lies beyond death. Modern people meditate for every reason under the sun except the most important one. How many vipassana students meditate to prepare for death? And how many practice because they want to put an end to the cycle of death and rebirth for good? Most people meditate because they want to become better managers, or find partners, or feel happy, or because they long for a calm, stress-free mind and life. For them, meditation is a way of preparing for life, not death and is therefore no less mundane than their other worldly pursuits, like shopping, eating out, exercising and socializing.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book Living Is Dying: How to Prepare for Death, Dying and Beyond
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