I once dreamt I had died. Actually, I have died many times in dreams, but this was different. In my dreams I have fallen from cliffs, been eaten by animals and succumbed to all the monsters available to a child’s imagination. I have woken from such dreams with a start, but this dream was beautiful, peaceful and even blissful.
In my dream, I saw my breath returning to the air and becoming a breeze. I watched as it swept across a field of wheat caressing each stalk. My minerals returned to the soil and gave life to plants. I could imagine my carbon contributing to a future diamond. I saw my water frozen on the top of a mountain, then melting into a stream and being sipped by a deer.
I woke with no wish to hurry back to that moment of dissolution. Instead, I wanted to live my full span with the peaceful knowledge that I come from and return to an intimate union with all other beings. I wanted to remember that we are different aspects of one life and that we are more like folds in a blanket than separated beings.
In times of sorrow I want to remember that my “self” is something borrowed. When my life is unfair, I want to remember to go deep into my common life with you. When I try to make sense of my one single life I become lost in an impossible labyrinth. When I stop thinking of my problems as “mine”, they fall away like the beads of a necklace when the string is removed. I discover my “self” to be one brief note in an eternal hymn. We have nothing to fear in life or death as long as we remember to sing that song.