Die before you die

I posted this meditation originally on August 14th, 2017. I was recovering from shoulder surgery, two dogs had passed away, and I was pondering the decisions that took me from the life I made in NJ, to the one I have now. I didn’t know what to expect then, but now, looking back, I know the lesson of surrender & acceptance I learned during this difficult passage is what continues to sustain me today.

I hope someone else finds comfort knowing peace is possible, even in the darkest moments, when we’re able to surrender to what IS. We may not be happy about it, but with acceptance,we can know peace.

Sometimes, there may be no answers, but we can let go of the questions.


I just read a Zen proverb tonight ‘Die before you die.’

I love this. I think each time we let go of something, we’re preparing for the ultimate letting go when we die. How we die is how we lived. Death & living, like grief & love, are the same thing, just inverse.

Each time we let go something -a relationship, loved one, expectation, addiction – who we were dies. Our world is re-ordered. The perceptual markers which orient us in reality shift and the world is no longer the same. Which is a powerful thought because our perception drives so much of what our world is. We tend to inhabit what we perceive. At least this is true for me. Hell is a state of consciousness. It’s resistance to what it is and my arrogance which insists I know what’s happening.

I never really know what is going to be best for me and I’m always surprised by what lurks right below the surface of what I think I want. I’m often a mystery to myself.

Now, I’m in a passage marked by both loss and expansion. I must let go of what was to make room for what is coming. If we allow it, loss opens room for different energy and growth.

But I can’t talk about loss with new age platitudes. It really sucks. I have no desire to overlay the challenging experiences in life with unicorns. (Like getting a hole drilled in your humerus or losing your best girl, Junie B. Jensen.)

When you think you’re ready to evolve, do something more, change, forge ahead, the Universe somehow expands like a rubber band with you and then, just as you test the farthest limits of your current reach, it snaps back, sends you back a pace or two, puts you in your place, demands your patience, acceptance, surrender and generally, let’s you know that you’re most definitely not really in charge. Then, with time, as you start the trek again, the band stretches with you, instead of against, and you gain more ground.

You can get in alignment but you just don’t know enough to really chart the course for yourself.

How humbling life is. As I get older I find great comfort in humility. I’m fond of saying, “I have no idea what I am doing. None. Right now I’m not a mess but I could be at any moment in the future. I’m just happy I’m packing all my marbles in my pockets today.”

In the past few years, I’ve learned about the uncomfortable process of surrender and acceptance and now I find great solace in the moment I get to turn inward because I’ve realized acceptance is demanded. It is as though I can somehow just wrap my arms around it, pull whatever it is tight, and whole it with presence.

Don’t ever be afraid to just sit with your shit. Once embraced, it’s not really all that scary. Just let go and die a little every day.