Most people dislike facing the true facts of life and prefer to lull themselves into a false sense of security by sweet dreaming and imagining. They mistake the shadow for the substance. They fail to realise that life is uncertain, but that death is certain. One way of understanding life is to face and understand death which is nothing more than a temporary end to a temporary existence. But many people do not like even to hear of the word ‘ death’. They forget that death will come, whether they like it or not. Recollections on death with the right mental attitude can give a person courage and calmness as well as an insight into the nature of existence.
Besides understanding death, we need a better understanding of our life. We are living a life that does not always proceed as smoothly as we would like it to. Very often, we face problems and difficulties. We should not be afraid of them because the penetration into the very nature of these problems and difficulties can provide us with a deeper insight into life. The worldly happiness in wealth, luxury, respectable positions in life which most people seek is an illusion. The fact that the sale of sleeping pills and tranquillizers, admissions to mental hospitals and suicide rates have increased in relation to modern material progress is enough testimony that we have to go beyond worldly, material pleasure to seek for real happiness. ~By Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda