01 Nov Baby Boomers guide to dissolving the fear of death: How Taoism can help alleviate this elderly problem
The Tao Te Ching is a sacred text containing eighty one verses that were dictated by a self-realized man, Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu lived approximately five hundred years before the birth of Jesus – the Tao Te Ching is the most widely translated body of text after the Bible and its eighty one verses are believed to be the ultimate commentary on living a harmonious life by observing nature – this seems to be exactly what the doctor prescribed for the Seventy-six million baby boomers .
The 74th verse: If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you aren’t afraid of dying, there is nothing you can’t achieve. Trying to control the future is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place. When you handle the master carpenter’s tools, chances are that you’ll cut your hand.
Now that more are more of us baby boomers are beginning to and retire and grow older, we find ourselves thinking about death more than we used to. Death seems to be one of the biggest questions that life has to offer. According to Lao Tzu, death is where time, space and everything materialistic ceases to hold any meaning. What dies is our outer identity leaving behind the nameless, formless and indestructible essence of who we really are. Lao Tzu advises us to re-connect and operate from that nameless and formless place that lies beneath the layers of personality and identity. Once we identify with that part of ourselves, the fear of death will automatically dissolve.
Baby boomers will find the 74th verse of the Tao Te Ching interesting as it urges us to cease looking for permanence and security in our external lives. The very nature of physical life is that of constant change – accepting that as a fact brings harmony and peace – holding on to something or someone external for safety and security breeds fear, insecurity, doubt, greed and possessiveness. This is as true for the body as it’s true for everything else that we own.
The Tao teaches us that our very essence is part of an infinite and inexhaustible source – although it’s not physical, the physical world is born and renewed from it. That source is unchanging – even though our “ever-changing” physical world came from it. According to Lao Tzu, that source is the only true permanent reality there is – even though the illusionary physical world came from it.
Meditation for baby boomers to overcome the fear of death: While still alive, practice dying. During meditation simply allow your awareness to move beyond the physical body and the physical world for a few minutes. Contemplate and find comfort in leaving behind and being without the physical shell and all its trappings. Become an observer of how you tend to get caught up in the world of “ten thousand things”. Becoming a silent and compassionate observer of your physical life is the key in dissolving the fear of death and reconnecting with the infinite and everlasting Self (capital S).
Here is an excerpt from the book Communion with God by Neale Donald Walsch that sums up this thought beautifully:
Which snowflake is the most magnificent? Is it possible that they are all magnificent – and that, celebrating their magnificence together they create an awesome display? Then they melt into each other, and into the Oneness. Yet they never go away. They never disappear. They never cease to be. Simply they change form. And not just once, but several times: from solid to liquid, from liquid to vapor, from the seen to the unseen, to rise again, and then again to return in new displays of breathtaking beauty and wonder. This is life, nourishing life.
Baby Boomers Understanding the Tao – bending is living is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of baby boomers psychological coaching tips and how to alleviate elderly problems. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.
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