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Using Awareness of Mortality as a Support to Guide Your Life

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inquiry & integration

inquiry instructions

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Inquiry:  What are the Advantages of Being more Aware of our Mortality

Personal Integration: This practice can be done alone or with a friend, lover, or counselor. Take one to five minutes or longer to contemplate and answer the question. When done with another, it is essential that the listener remains neutral and encourages you by repeating this inquiry as needed to help maintain focus.  It might be surprising to you as most of us that don’t want to feel or think about being out of control, or realize that (no matter what your religion is or isn’t) this body will not last forever.  It might be shocking to see that we believe unconsciously that we are going to be as we know ourselves, forever.  We have been hypnotized by our culture to avoid this taboo area of talking about our own mortality.   As you take this time can you see the detriments of complacency? like not seizing the precousness of the moment, choosing our own priorities, the empowerment to live true to ourselves? Can you see the absurdity of success being a number one priority in many of our lives?    Notice that you are grounding yourself in the truth of existence when you recognize the short-term nature of our stay here.  This exploration can also lead to questions about the wondrous mystery of our existence.  How did we come into being?  How amazing is it that we are even here, and we don’t really know how we got here?  
Inquiry 2:  What is your family conditioning with regard to death and how has it prepared you for the issues of impermanence in this life??
Personal Integration 2:  Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  Many of us were sheltered from having to worry or wonder about the impermanence of life.   Explore how that has benefitted or hurt your thought process.  Would you change the model for the next generation if you were in that position?   Do you think it encourages the more curious part of our minds?   Do you think it prepares us for our path of life and death?  Let yourself consider if you were overprotected   allowed to feel secure around discussions of dying.   As you explore, let yourself be your own expert, and be aware of how you may have been influenced differently. 
Inquiry 3:  How do you feel as you look at impermanence of life?
Personal Integration 3: Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  As you inquire into this question, you will probably understand why the more faint hearted  avoid this difficult but essential part of  life.  We are likely to face challenging feelings such as, fear, uncertainty, feeling out of control, helplessness, terror, emptiness, and confusion, to name just a few.  If we can tolerate these challenging emotions we are likely to discover those such as wonder, curiosity, intelligence, amazement, gratitude, and awe…   Every one of us will have a unique response as we do this inquiry, and in fact it will probably be different each time we invoke this inquiry.   The more familiar and comfortable we are in exploring longer periods of time, the more likely it is that we will be able to receive the benefit.  It is paradoxical, that the more we  accept and tolerate fear, the more we can find courage.   The more we can be okay with emptiness, the more we can find our unique questions and paths to fulfillment.
Inquiry 4:  Can you see the benefit of receiving our own guidance as we maintain awareness of mortality as a friend, rather than an enemy?
Personal Integration 4:  Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  When we think we are going to live forever we have a tendency to follow other peoples’ agendas, idea, rules, or religions.   We have less motivation to think for ourselves.  Have you gone deep enough into your awareness of mortality to see how outrageous it is?   Have you become amazed at the incredible mystery of how our bodies, the planets, the sun, the earth have all come into existence?  If not you may want to repeat the prior integration exercises. When you go to this level of depth you often become dissatisfied with beliefs and want to more deeply question and explore the unknown.  Can you see how the impermanence of life can give you courage to ask what you really want, need and believe?  It is possible that nobody else really knows for sure how we got here, and is it any more likely that they know what is really the way for me to find fulfillment?   As you have the courage to see awareness of mortality as a “grounded friend” in life, you are likely to be freed to think for yourself.  Take the time to really ask, “What is the nature of who I am?”  “How did I get here?”  “Where am I going if anywhere?”  How does this affect the choices I make in this life?  What are my truths?  Let yourself ask the real questions about your true nature, and allow it to be the empowerment if it empowers to creating the life that you most want.
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Since 1972, Humanistic Spirituality founder Robert Strock has maintained a private spiritual and therapeutic counseling practice that specializes in purposeful living, relationships, spiritual psychology, and death and dying counseling. Humanistic Spirituality provides various spiritual workshops, guided mediations, and licensed marriage family therapists and licensed social work continuing education courses. Contact us to learn how we can help you find inner peace and spiritual awareness through our counseling, or our free guided meditations, videos, audios, writings, introspective guises and more. A warm welcome from the team at Humanistic Spirituality.

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