The previous article might have seemed morbid and pessimistic. But in this article we will explore how old age and death fit into a Buddhist context which is quite the opposite. This article explains why the Buddhist context to understand the importance and benefits of reflecting on old age and death.
By reflecting on old age and death we come to realise the following:
1. Impermanence: This is the “suffering of change”. It is easy to dismiss aging, sickness, and death as somebody else’s problem, a thing for old and sick people to deal with. In fact they lie ahead for everybody, including ourselves. Aging, sickness, and death are facts that are incredibly difficult to accept and incorporate into life. Despite how life can be prolonged through the use of modern medicine and technology these facts must be accepted.
We are obviously no longer the baby or child that we once were. Just as obvious is the fact that we will inevitably die. Our body is definitely in a constant state of change. Just as this body was born, this body will die. Without accepting these facts, we will experience the “suffering of change”. In other words, we will experience huge surprise and disappointment when we are faced with the inevitability of aging, sickness, and death for both ourselves and those around us.