Along with multitudes of others, I grieve the recent death and celebrate the life of Thich Nhat Hanh.
In his honor and remembrance, Shambala Publications shared a long passage of his on dying — excerpted from his book You are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment.
There are any number of striking parts in this excerpt. The one that I keep coming back to is as follows:
Are you ready to die now? Are you ready to arrange your schedule in such a way that you could die in peace tonight? That may be a challenge, but that’s the practice. If you don’t do this, you will always be tormented by regret. If you don’t want to suffer, if you don’t want to be tormented by regret, the only solution is to live every minute you are given in a deep way. That’s all there is to it. The only way to deal with insecurity, fear, and suffering is to live the present moment in a profound way. If you do that, you will have no regrets.
And here is another.
The teaching of the buddha tells you clearly and plainly to make this the most magnificent and wonderful moment of your life. This present moment must become the most wonderful moment in your life. All you need to transform this present moment into a wonderful one is freedom. All you need to do is free yourself from your worries and preoccupations about the past, the future, and so on.