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How to be mindful

The certainty of death renders no comfort to the fear that it invokes on the living. Marcus Aurelius calls life a catalog of uncertainties, crowned by the sole certainty of death. His Lebanese counterpart Etel Adnan attunes the tremulousness of our future once we realize the ephemerality of life. Stoic philosophy alludes death to be a quintessential return of particles and atoms to the universe. Yet, our understanding of existence or realization of the world is muddled as we remain sundered by a world of the past and one of future.

We long for permanence in a world that is contrived to change. In death, all that seducing with pleasure or frightening with pain comes to a humble foreclosure. Our biases and prejudices make way for silent emptiness as we repay our debt to the universe by returning those borrowed atoms back to Stardust. The longest lived and those leaving much sooner all lose the same thing, the perpetual present also what the dying lose every single time. As far as all else, you cannot lose what you don’t have and that includes your past as well.

If death were to be an arbitrator of life, it would inspire mindful living to shield the power within each of us, to inspire our interests that sprout from an absence of pretense. It would forge a rhetoric that is less influenced by those around us and incite actions that make for a meaningful present, not just for us.

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