Book of Interest—Five Meditations on Death

Posted July 9th, 2016 by anna and filed in Anna's Books of interest
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Inner Traditions

Dare you look into the eyes of your own death?

Poet-philosopher Cheng tells us that death is a part of life, and that life-time-death are inextricably merged, much as we might struggle against that. Thus bodily death, which has become such a terror to most of us, is necessary for life—and for gratitude for the gift of life. He references Etty Hillesum, who before her death in the gas chamber at Auschwitz, wrote in her journal: “…by excluding death from our life, we deprive ourselves of a complete life, and by welcoming it, we enlarge and enrich our life.”

Make no mistake, this is not a morbid text requiring that we face the inevitable. It is rather a testament to life and an exploration of what gives life meaning.

It can be viewed as synchronicitous that this book has been released at a time when facing death has become an unavoidable topic around the world. It is almost constantly in the media at the moment, and as journalists and talking heads search for new ways to talk about what is happening at an alarmingly increasing rate, they are also stumbling across keys to giving meaning to death beyond the mundane experience and the power that it summons as a weapon in the material world.

Written in soaring language, filled with poetry from across the ages, Cheng begins by describing himself as coming from the tribe of the damned, the have-nots. The five meditations were originally presented orally and maintain that interactive quality within the printed words. Readers engage in exploration with Cheng rather than being passively informed by him.

I have spent the last few weeks crying, raging, and trying to make some sense of what I am seeing on TV. The review copy of this book seemed to call to me from the pile it was in. I feel as if it is a gift from the heavens. I won’t pretend that I think I understand what it really means or the impact that it will have on my life. I recognize it as an invitation to transcend the chaos in the world and search for better answers. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2016 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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