footnote to death

The two stories about death, being …..

    1. out of time (the song of the blackbird)
    2. some news

…..deserve some explanation maybe.

The subject is dear to my heart! When I was about 14, living in rural East Yorkshire, I awoke with a start just at the point of falling asleep. I knew with utter certainty that one day I would die. My parents were Quakers, prior to that we kids had to go to church and listen to a man in a long black dress talking weirdness that meant about as much as a nursery rhyme. I rejected their religion completely, and indeed any idea that religious belief had any use whatsoever in the face of my stark realisation.

Soon after that, I came across a translation of the Bhagavad Gita in a second hand book store. I read it avidly; allowed my heart to resonate to the astonishing content. I envied Arjuna, suddenly realising his charioteer is a manifestation of divinity, imparting ultimate wisdom regarding the nature of being! Imparting, not asking for belief in ideas or concepts. And that astonishment translated into action, as soon as I went to University my first teacher was there and I started to explore the immense and all-encompasing  world that is yoga. Many ups and downs, many departures from that path but in those early days before I was even 20, I’d made a deep sankalpa (resolution) to practice yoga, and that reminded me again and again where I could always find contentment and more.


The first story, ‘out of time’ is beautiful to me. Some of us know that scenario; to go through despair then come out into emptiness the other side. The strange contentment of waiting to die, nothing left to do because that aspect of the person which does things and ‘achieves’ has been bleached out leaving just a caretaker, non-judgemental, consciousness.

The ‘sound’ aspect in that story is one which I experienced. My yoga teacher in London, when I went to University there, taught me some introductory Kriya Yoga techniques as well as asanas (postures) and pranayama (breath/prana techniques). Some years later I was practicing nada yoga, which is a technique of listening to inner sound, which gets more and more subtle. Ultimately, if one is so lucky, entrancing. I experienced something which I find, now I return to Kriya yoga, has the name Pasyanti. The subtle sounds move out of the audible and take a form, in my case that of an ever changing mandala of indescribable colours and shapes.

That which is contained within us, which we are, is truly beyond words, beyond beautiful.      Out of time (the song of the blackbird)


The second story ‘some news’ needs no explanation. A saint, I think it might have been Tulsidas, was asked ‘what is the most remarkable thing you have seen in this world?’ and replied ‘that human beings live their lives in the belief that they will live forever…..’.

Oh… and the weirdness that is the passing of time. Do you realise this is the only dimension in the physical universe that goes one way only; the others all have two directions, up-down, right-left etc.     Some News




2 thoughts on “footnote to death

  1. I liked the title “Footnote to Death”
    The experiences that you have had are amazing, you have taken the right Path very early in life.
    My Friend Tony this is a Path having millions of obstacles of which many of them you have faced.
    Choosing the Track leading the path in its Light is also a blessing.
    You are a blessed one my Dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you once again Shiva. Coming from you, these words encourage me in the right way, rather than boosting some spiritual ego. You would see through that my friend (fast becoming my dear friend!) as you know this path better than I. Despite such beautiful experiences I’ve been given, just for putting in a bit of effort to follow this path, I often see that I’m nowhere..still crazy! but times of clarity are more frequent now. Meditation is wonderful but isn’t the real thing to carry that changed perspective the meditative space brings, into the waking, walking about, day? Also thanks for the synchronicity of your comments on this and my Ulingana site. I was in despair with that as I was let down by someone who promised to take care of my young deaf friend Ketty (which is what my project on Ulingana is about) should I die…I am trying to fund 12 years of education for her. And I was going to just dump the site…all the hard work I’ve put in… but your timing was perfect…Ah I thought, my fate is to continue, and it will all come good. How life looks after me! This time through your intervention Shiva!!!


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