With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
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Stephen Levine was an author and teacher best known for the book Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying, which he coauthored with his wife, Ondrea. He helped popularize Buddhist meditation in the West and offered counseling to the terminally ill. He died this year.
[Love] is not a dualistic emotion. It is a sense of oneness with all that is. The experience of love arises when we surrender our separateness into the universal. It is a feeling of unity. You don’t love another; you are another. There is no fear because there is no separation. It is not so much that “two are as one” as it is “the One manifested as two.” In such love there can be no unfinished business.
You are the Ancient One. Everything that ever was, is, or will be is part of the dance of your being. You are all of the universe, and so you have Infinite Wisdom; you appreciate all of the feelings of the universe, so you have Infinite Compassion.
If we examine our fear of death we see in it a fear of the moment to follow, over which we have no control. In it is a fear of impermanence itself, of the next unknown changing moment of life.
It’s an ongoing process of opening to life. The more you open to life, the less death becomes the enemy. When you start using death as a means of focusing on life, then everything becomes just as it is, just this moment, an extraordinary opportunity to be really alive.