"Often we know the right thing to do but we just simply don’t have the strength to do it. And if that’s the way we live, imagine what it’s going to be like when we die. The body will be a lot weaker, the mind will be distracted by all kinds of things -- your thoughts of this, you’re going to miss this and miss that, you’ve only a little time left for this or that. The people around you are all in a turmoil. The mind has to be really strong to put up with a situation like that and not buckle under. And the shape of your mind at that point is going to have a huge impact on how you are reborn. The life you’ve lived is going to have a huge impact as well.
"They compare dying to falling asleep and dreaming, except that in this particular case you can’t come back to the body anymore. When you fall asleep, a little dream world will appear in your mind and you go into it: That’s your first dream. Now the nature of that dream world could be something realistic or something totally fantastic, pleasant or unpleasant. The nature of the dream world that appears has to do both with your past actions -- issues that have been weighing on your mind for a long time -- or your current state of mind.
"The principle that applies as you go to sleep applies at the moment of death as well, except at that point the mind does tend to be a lot weaker, a lot more desperate. It will jump -- especially if it’s untrained -- it’ll jump at anything. If you can train the mind to be more mindful and alert to what’s going on, then if you see something unpromising coming up, you don’t have to jump for it. You realize that you’ve got the choice, and if you learn how to keep in mind the good things you’ve done in life, that makes it easier for good dream worlds to appear at the time. But regardless, the important thing is that how you die is determined by how you live. That’s the issue right now. And so you need the meditation to develop these five strengths..."
- Thanissaro Bikkhu
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