Thursday, February 18, 2016

Carpe Diem Theme Week #1 episode 4: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: Insight 3 "thinking about death gives life meaning"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Until today our first Theme Week goes well, but the response are a little bit low, maybe that's because of the Theme itself or (and I can understand that very well) it isn't very easy to create haiku or tanka inspired on the posts. Well ... it doesn't really matter, I just like to share this wonderful thoughts and ideas with you all.


finding peace of mind
the soothing sound of rippling water
the rustling of leaves
strengthens my tired mind
that's fortitude
deep inner peace, the beating of my heart,
the music of life
caught in the rippling stream -
finding peace of mind
© Chèvrefeuille

thinking about death gives life meaning

We all know that we will die some day. We also know that when this will happen we not know, or what will be happening. Most of us don't want to think about dying and in a way we hide for it. As I stated in an earlier post ... "death is part of life, it's the only certainty we have".
I can understand that talking about death isn't your daily business, but according to Sogyal Rinpoche you have to talk about living and dying, because death comes without warning. Try to live your life to the fullest and let death be a part of it. Of course you don't need to talk 24/7 about death, but it certainly must not be paralyzing to talk about it.
In my work as an oncology nurse I experience in so much different ways how people, patients and their loved ones, are talking about life. There are patients who don't dare to talk about death, and other patients talk freely about their death. They see dead as a part of their life and than you really can see and learn how life has to be celebrated.
This is what Rinpoche says about this:

You have to be busy with the things you find important. For example: if you like to read, read; if you like to paint, paint; if you like to write novels or poems, write ... enjoy every moment of your life. It's to short to leave things as they are. Experience life. If you dream about visiting countries go ... make that journey. It's similar with what people do if they make a so called "bucket-list", things they want to do.
Meditate and contemplate about your life and if your life is to busy, than set it on hold. Take a step back ... look at your life ... and thing about the things you find important. Maybe this will help.
Dare to be honest to yourself, try to imagine when will I die, in which year my life will end, in which month. What's happening in the world around you. Enjoy your life ... let dead be part of it.
Let me tell you how I am looking at my life:

I have a wonderful life, I enjoy it to the fullest. I had goals and those goals I have reached ... what do I want in the future? Do I have dreams? Of course one of them is to visit Japan and I hope it will become true, but that's not up to me. I have a family in  which children and grandchildren are the most important. I spend a lot of time with them and ... of course there is me ... the haiku poet and as you all once have said to me ... I am a sensei, a master and I ernjoy that very much. And ... yes I think about dead. Dead is part of my life, not only through my work, but also in private life. It's not something we don't talk about.

Celebrate life and let death be part of it. Life gives meaning as you think about dead without being anxious or sad ... What would you do if you knew that you are facing death ... right on this moment!

My response

Death is in my opinion part of life, without thinking about death we can not live our life, or even better ... without thinking about death we can not celebrate life. Look around you enjoy nature, enjoy the coming and going of the seasons in which life and death are each other's best friends. If you look at living and dying as being part of nature, part of being human ... than death can be giving meaning to life.

in the backyard
the old Sakura has lost his blossom
until next spring

© Chèvrefeuille

This is how I see life and death ...there will be a new beginning always ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 20th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode of this Theme Week, Insight 4 the power of compassion is limitless, later on


  1. I appreciate your great work here a lot and ... I'm learning and hopefully improving my skills. Yes it's a bit sad that so few has found this gem place in cyber. I'am glad I did :)
    My problem is to find time to visit sites more often.
    Now my entry for this post I wrote before I came here but I think (hopefully) it suits the theme. I added a haiku in the end ;)
    Thanks a lot for your admirable work Kristjaan!
    You take place in cyber for the good things and thereby push away the bad ones (Y)
    Sorry I am not very good at English.

  2. I've missed some posts inthe past wee but am attempting to catch up.
    I worked in long term care for many years and learned much about the dignity of the end of life from residents. Such important lessons.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us here in this caring community of poets

  3. There is a delay for me in getting your emails so the previous prompts have come past the link expiration. I have read them though. I have been inspired and they have influenced my poetry a great deal. Today though, it came within the time frame. Thank you, Kristjaaen.

  4. Wonderful vision of death Kristjaan .. I appreciate this post very much!