Useful Buddhism – Recalling Death

It may sound morbid to some, but once we accept death as inevitable; being reminded about death has its positive effects.

You are replaceable at work but not so at home.

The above quote is actually talking about work safety. But is does give us a better perspective in life. If we risk our life and heath for work, only to regret it bitterly later on; then perhaps an occasional reminder about life and death will grant us a wiser perspective. This is especially so when our physical and mental health is being compromised and we have dependents at home.

That person may not be there tomorrow

Do you have a distant relative, or grand parents, or family members living in a different household? What about friends whom you think about but had “no time” to contact?

Well, death comes to all, including our love ones. Recalling death stops us from thinking, “I’ll call another day.”

Because they may not be around when that day comes.

Therefore, recalling death prevents us from taking others for granted. It fosters a better relationship.

Death is like a curtain call

If we look back in time and recall our past; isn’t it like a memory of a movie? We are just part of a show. Some people may piss us off or be a nuisance in life, but ultimately it boils down to be nothing but a fleeting memory.

When our pride is being hurt and we feel like our principles are being challenged or mocked, recalling death will stop us from irrational behavior. Instead of hitting back, we learn to let go, walk off and cool down.

This is especially important when dealing with family and friends.

Seize the moment, for there may not be another chance

In many Buddhist monastery, monks and nuns recite a phrase to remind themselves not to waste another moment away from practice. This is because, they have already committed themselves to enlightenment as life’s goal.

For a student, it may be pursuing knowledge and earning a degree. For a business woman, it could mean having her company listed. If we have a goal in life and is happy about it, recalling death stop us from procrastinating and help us live a focused life.

In summary, recalling death is not morbid. We do not go around bemoaning it. Neither do we become depress and sad. Instead, we learn to cherish our every living moment and make good use of our limited time.

May all be well and happy.

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3 replies »

  1. Hi Jamyang, thank you for this post. Recently I have started to raise butterflies on my little balcony. I had been very excited about the entire process of caterpillars to butterflies. Yet some of those caterpillars didn’t make it and I felt very sad, Yet I experienced that I was too attached to my expectations of joy, and denying the death of natures circle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cornelia, I am so happy that you are offering refuge to those caterpillars. At least they have a safe place to dwell before they can fly, and if they cannot make it, at least they die comfortably and not in the jaws of nature. Wonderful!
      I think it would be nice to chant some Buddhist verses to them. (dead or alive)


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