Face the fear of Death

Facing death before it happens RELEASES you from it!

The only thing sure about life is death! It is the one reality that no one can escape  but still people don’t want to think about it. Death is the fear of all fears. It is the fear that all other fears erupt from.

You may be afraid of the death of a loved one or even your own death. It could be the fear of losing your security, wealth and reputation. Perhaps it’s the fear of going mad, or becoming seriously ill and infirmed. For each of these fears,  it is the fear of the unknown  that lies at the heart of them. It is a death of our identity as we know it.  You may not realize it, but the fears you have are  really a blessing, because they  are a reminder,  a call to look in.  Sooner or later  each of us has  to face death. The great secret is that when we face death before it is facing us, we are released from our fear and know how to live life beautifully. So please pat yourself in the back that you had the courage to even look at death and even google about death. It shows you are ready to look into it.

It is too late to wait until we are about to die to look into the eyes of Death. Only when Death is not staring at us can we stare at it and learn the powerful lessons it has to teach.

If you look around you there is change constantly happening; leaves and flowers dry up and die, seasons change, new groups are formed and dissolve, even the cells in our body are constantly dying and new cells are being created. So death of all things is a certainty. In fact, if cells don’t die and more cells than are needed are born, it leads to cancer.  Death is actually the continuation of a longer existence. But because we are not taught about death and reincarnation, just the thought of the unknown can fill us with fear.

Five kinds of Fear

We can categorize fears into five major categories:

1) Fear of losing wealth, comfort, name and fame, prestige and other outer world things.

2) Fear of losing our health and parts of our body through some accident or disease; fears concerned with physical health.

3) Fear of losing our mental health, our mental stability.

4) Fear of losing our loved ones, or their love.

5) Fear of the unknown: fear of God, fear of ghosts and fear of death itself.

Actually all fears are ultimately the fear of death. How so? If you have a fear of public speaking or fear of failing, the fear emerges because you are afraid of how you will appear in front of others. You are afraid of loss of face or your identity. The death of your so-called identity. Similarly your fear of certain animals  is because you think that you may be physically harmed by them. Every fear is indirectly or directly related to the fear of death. But don’t take my word for it.

Try this!  Write down all the fears you have and see how they are related to the fear of death. Do this exercise.

Why are we afraid of death?

We are afraid because instinctively we resist change and death is seen as an abrupt change in life. The master Chuang Tzu says beautifully, ‘Man’s thirst for survival in the future makes him incapable of living in the present.’  We are afraid because we do not know who we are. We hold an identity of ourselves inside us, based on our family, relationships, job, wealth, social image etc. Death removes this very foundation on which our identity is built, so we feel death snatches everything that is ours.

Our understanding about death, or rather our misunderstanding about death, makes death a fearful, frightening experience. The man who resists death dies even while he lives. He dies every moment because he is tortured by the very idea of death. When I say ‘death’, I don’t mean only physical death. Losing anything is a form of death. Losing your comfortable life is one form of death, losing your relatives in another. Loss in any form is nothing but death of your perceived sense of security.

There are two issues: the incident of death that happens at the end of our lives, and psychological death. Real death happens only once, but psychological death, the fear of death, permeates our life. The idea and fear of death decides our entire life structure.

Every part of your body is connected to someone or the other. Your being is not an individual being. It is not alone, separate, as you think. We are all interlinked. That is why we may undergo terrible suffering when we lose someone or something. Every missing that you experience, no matter of whom or what is called death. Fear of death is just the fear of continuity or discontinuity. We are afraid-about the ‘what next.’

Death is not a mere incident at the end of your life. It is  the possibility of a profound knowing. If you know how to die, you know how to live. Living and leaving are two sides of the same coin.  Your life will be totally different once you understand death.

How to understand Death?

Almost all the traditions have tried to conquer death, to outlive death. But one group  of people used meditation as a technique to take them where others had dared not to go before. Those few intelligent ones were the great rishis,  the Vedic sages who researched deeply and received the secrets of death which  were in the form of the Katopanishad – the foremost document on death.

Death cannot be understood or overcome by resistance. The only way to understand death is by entering into the fear of death consciously. Death has power over you because of your belief, your faith in it, that’s all! If you decide to stare at death and look into it deeply, it has the power to transform your life in the most positive way. You will realize that it is not contradictory to life but complementary to life.   

Anything suppressed only takes up another form. It doesn’t get uprooted totally. So suppression is not the way to overcome fear. Awareness is the way. In fact, if you suppress fear, you are missing the chance of overcoming it.

When you continuously look into your fears with awareness, even when death comes, you will look into it with awareness  and allow it to happen to you. It is important to be able to do this because ultimately all your fears are nothing but the fear of death. When you work on your day-to-day fears, your fear of death unconsciously decreases, and when your fear of death decreases, your day-to-day fears decrease! It is a virtuous circle .

There is a beautiful meditation called the Nirbhaya Dhyana (the darkness meditation), to work directly upon our fears. However, this meditation should be done under the guidance of an enlightened master.  To learn more about how to do this meditation and attend a program where you can undergo this death experience consciously, contact : –

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