Am I back blogging again? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. Just today, just now, I need this outlet.
Whatever you are doing, wherever you are, I need a favour.
Do this one thing for me, will you?
Play this game with me. I call it the dead game. It’s for anyone, whether or not you believe in an afterlife. It is for atheist and believer, agnostic and Buddhist. But it’s not for people who do not have an active imagination. You need a good imagination for this, and a willingness to suspend normal beliefs. If that’s not you, hit the back button. Bye!
Okay, now to the rest of you. Here’s how it works.
I want you to imagine that you’ve died. You know this will happen one day, right? So this part isn’t too much of a stretch. Imagine that day has come and gone. You’re no longer on the earth. Try to fill in some details. How did you die? How long ago? Let’s put it at about a year… long enough for you to start to miss having a body. (Here’s where you have to just pretend and play along. If you don’t believe in a separate consciousness that would be capable of such reflection after the death of the body, chill. It’s okay; I don’t either. It’s just a game.)
So there you are with no body, no nose to smell, no eyes to see, no fingers to touch things, no tongue to taste. And you realize that while you were on earth, you frittered away SO MANY moments in which you could have been relishing and savouring having five (six?) senses! Can you feel that heavy block of regret sitting in your (non-existent) chest? Feel it. Close your eyes and just get into this silly fantasy for a few minutes. If your story includes other regrets, such as people you weren’t kind to or loved ones you didn’t appreciate enough, that’s fine, too. Go with it; flow with where your heart takes you.
I’ll wait right here.
So you’re dead, right? You’ve begun to feel the void, the sadness of no longer being on earth? Here comes the good part. Now I want you to imagine that you manage somehow to score one more day on earth (or one hour, if you wish). You can imagine yourself bargaining with God or with a genie in a bottle or a magician with a black top hat. Whatever. Imagine yourself begging for just one more day on earth so you can smell things again, touch things again, see your loved one’s face again, have a tongue to taste again.
Okay. Now I want you to imagine that you’ve just been magically transported from the dead zone back into a human body for ONE day (or hour).
Look around you.
When your loved one speaks to you, put away the device and make eye contact. Touch him/her. Relish that shared moment.
That’s mindfulness. And it’s not a game. Your days on this beautiful planet really are numbered.