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Center for Action and Contemplation

Death and Resurrection: Week 1 Summary

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Death and Resurrection: Week 1

Summary: Sunday, November 11-Friday, November 16, 2018

Death—whether one of many deaths to the false self or our physical dying—is simply returning to our spacious Ground of Being, to our foundation in Love. (Sunday)

The life and death of a human being is so exquisitely calibrated as to automatically produce union with Spirit. —Kathleen Dowling Singh (Monday)

Twice a year we pause the Daily Meditations to ask for your support. When I founded the Center for Action and Contemplation in 1987—and even when we began sending my Daily Meditations in 2007—I never imagined how this work would evolve and grow, thanks to our donors’ generosity. (Tuesday)

Life and death, negative and positive are part of the same unavoidable reality. Everything is living and dying simultaneously. (Wednesday)

Your True Self is who you are, and always have been, created in the image and likeness of God who is love. Love is both who you are and who you are still becoming. (Thursday)

The True Self is the Risen Christ in you, and hence, it is not afraid of death. It has already been to hell and back. (Friday)


Practice: Practicing Dying

Elizabeth Lesser, author and co-founder of Omega Institute, offers ways of practicing death:

Become an “I don’t know it all.”
Whenever you find yourself getting anxious about the big and small deaths of daily life—being out of control, not getting what you want, endings and partings—take a few minutes to allow in the possibility that you do not see the full picture. Often what looks terrible today will, in retrospect, have been a blessing. Just allow that possibility in. You do not have to understand or figure everything out. You can relax into the mystery of not knowing.

Disengage from the ego.
Develop a simple meditation practice. Every day, spend some time sitting in silence. . . . Sit with a straight back and relaxed body. Feel the nobility, patience, and strength of the posture. Allow your identification to broaden out beyond the ego with its constant thoughts and its shifting likes and dislikes. Just observe everything. . . . This is the practice of meditation.

Take birth and death back from the experts.
Because we are more frightened of what is not known to us, it makes sense to become familiar with the two bookends of life: birth and death. If you can, be at the births and deaths of family members and friends; sit with sick people; help others who are suffering. Do not shy away from what makes you uncomfortable. Learn about death—study its biological and spiritual stages. [1]

Elizabeth Lesser, “Five Ways of Practicing Dying,”

For Further Study:
Thomas Keating with Carl J. Arico, The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living (Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.: 2013)

Stephen and Ondrea Levine, Who Dies?: An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying (Anchor Books: 1989, ©1982)

Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (Jossey-Bass: 2013)

Kathleen Dowling Singh, The Grace in Dying: A Message of Hope, Comfort, and Spiritual Transformation (HarperOne: 2000)

Image credit: Woman Knitting (detail), fancycarve.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image:
There is a thread you follow. It goes among
Things that change. But it doesn’t change. . . .
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
—William Stafford
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