Reflections on Life, Death, Love and Light

As many of you know, my mom passed on to journey into the great beyond. Thank you all for your love and support during this difficult time, I appreciate your kind prayers, thoughts, and condolences. It warms my heart.

 

I wanted to share an article I wrote for Om Yoga and Lifestyle magazine that was published in June of 2013. While I wrote it over a year ago after a friend of mine died, reading it again, after the passing of my mom, has brought me comfort as I experience the emotional ups and downs of grieving.

 

Light and Death: Overcoming our fear of death is essential to living in the here and now

 

The subject of death is a difficult one for many to discuss openly. While most of us look forward to letting go in corpse pose at the end of a blissful yoga session, few are actually comfortable with the real notion of death and dying. Whether it is our own death, or the death of a loved one, the concept is nothing short of confusing, emotionally overwhelming, and sometimes downright terrifying.

 

The fear of death, known in Sanskrit as Abhinivesha, is one of five major obstacles to experiencing peace. When we deny the fact that some day we will no longer walk this Earth, we forget what a precious miracle and incredible privilege it is to be alive. We must neither take birth nor death for granted if we are to enjoy life to its fullest.   

 

The following meditation will help you release the fear of death by uniting with an ever-present light that exists within you and within all beings, whether living, or physically long gone from this Earth.

 

Sit in a comfortable position free from distractions. Begin to slow the rate of your breath until your body is completely relaxed and your mind is clear.

 

Next, bring your awareness to the very core of your being. Imagine your core is overflowing with radiant light and life giving energy.

 

Visualize powerful rays of bright, white light emerging from your center and traveling to the outer reaches of the universe. See these rays extend beyond your perception of time and space. Feel yourself merging with this light as you journey past limited thinking and the fear of the unknown.

 

Notice how making the connection with the ever-present source of light within you can elevate your consciousness, make you feel inspired, and give you a joyful attitude. Let your fears disintegrate into the belief that you, and all other beings, belong to an infinite source of light.

 

When we experience the death of a loved one, or become aware of our own mortality, we must remember that what lies within us is far more powerful than the passing of time bestowed upon us. The great Mahatma Gandhi once said, “In the midst of darkness, light persists, and in the midst of death, life persists.” If we believe this to be true, we can shed our fear of the inevitable and return to living joyfully while we still have the privilege to do so. 

 

A neighbor of mine read me this quote:

“Crying is one of the highest devotional songs. One who knows crying, knows spiritual practice. If you can cry with a pure heart, nothing else compares to such a prayer. Crying includes all the principles of yoga.” ~Kripalvanandji

Tears can sing, and joy, shed tears.

In loving memory of my dear mother, Suzanne.

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Comments

  1. Jill,
    I’m so sorry. Thank you for your reflections. You lead your yoga sessions
    with a tremendous aura of inner peace, and it is contagious. I will continue to remember you in your loss.

    Ann

  2. Dear Jill,

    We are all so blessed to have you in our lives and leading us in the practice of yoga. You are so very special, and I am thinking of you a lot during this time of your mothers passing. I love you!

    • Thank you too Sandy! You are special too and I am looking forward to lots of love, laughter, and joy in the New Year! xo

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your Mother, Jill… Having lost my own Mother during Christmas two years ago, I’m familiar with the mixed emotions that the family and loved ones experience. I’m also aware of the great beauty that comes along with this kind of pain. My Mom continues to guide and accompany me from the other side. Thank you for being such a bright light to others! Sending you prayers and love, Leah

  4. Dear Jill,

    Gratitude for the many ways that you have held precious space for me in this year of losses, through wisdom, care and leading practice.

    Ahhhh, the tender heart of our human connections. Our connection with our Mother, the most cellular, umbilical cord tying us to this planet. Remember to be gentle with yourself and to leave open space for the waves, big and small that are likely moving through you over these next months. Be open to all the ways you may receive messages, insights, wisdom, be opened and held during these days of winter.

    Blessings on her journey and yours, dear one.
    with love,
    Katie Grace

  5. What a beautiful reflection on death and life. Have missed you and yoga. Shall return soon. So sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. Mothers tend to be in your thoughts forever. Although that presence physically is gone a mother’s love is eternally there.

  6. dear Jill
    you and your Mom are remembered in every candle lit this season. Light and love seem to be moving, heart to heart, among the yoga community right now. So it goes: we let go of our fear and suffering compassion and kindness rolls in. When we lose a loved one, these feelings seem to intensify. May the new year continue to shine for you and your family.
    with deepest respect
    janet

  7. Dear Jill,
    So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. She looked like a beautiful women who gave you many years of love and care. I know she will be missed, but will be with you as you proceed on your path.

    Sending love & light,
    Barbara

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