Question: “I’m so terrified of growing old alone and dying one day. How do I ease these fears that are taking away from my right thinking and not allowing me to live in the present moment?”
By telling yourself you’re going to get old, get sick and die. There’sliterally nothing you can do about it, so why dwell on it? Instead, enjoy your life, your family and friends, nature and the fact that you are alive and well!
Many Buddhists meditate and contemplate on death. There are many reasons as to why, but the two main reasons are: 1) to contemplate the inevitable process of impermanence, and 2) to prepare ourselves for death of loved ones and our own death.
When we understand death and that we can’t stop it, it’s better to just accept it. So we meditate on death. We need to accept it, understand it and love it, so when death does happen, it won’t be a completely miserable time in our lives. Instead, it will be an easier process to get through because we understand and accept it.
Everything has to die. Nothing on our earth is ever permanent. Every house gets built, ages and crumbles to the ground. Buildings, cars and things can last decades or centuries, but eventually everything must end. This simple, yet difficult understanding can ease a lot of our own suffering and delusion.
Live in the present by being aware of our heart beat, our breath, the sun or stars in the sky, the wind, animals, nature, and the simplicity of everything around us. Being in the present doesn’t mean watching every little thing that’s going on, it means accepting the history of the past and the surprises of the future, and for neither of which we can do anything about. So instead, we enjoy the now.
Smile and be well!