In Zen terms this symbol (named enso) is known as the circle of enlightenment.
A closed circle represents the totality of experience and life.
A circle not quite closed represents imperfection found in all things. People are encouraged not to strive for perfection but to allow the universe to be as it is.
We all know that death is natural, part of our human existence and a great equalizer.
For many people, it is a sacred end to their lives. Nevertheless, death remains a mystery.
What happens when we die? Why do we die?
What dies when we die?
Although answers to these major questions lie beyond our understanding, I hope this new anthology A Matter of Life and Death will suggest some insights into this subject.
In this book 60 people from many walks of life share their wisdom and perspectives as they face up to end-of-life issues. They have chosen an inspiring passage or image which best expresses death to them together with their personal reflections on their choice, based on their spiritual inclination or an experience with death.
They include poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda, Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, Rabindranath Tagore as well as excerpts from different sacred texts such as the Bible, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
A Matter of Life and Death has five chapters. In Personal Encounters with Death, contributors share how their lives have been reshaped in the aftermath of a gradual dying or a sudden death.
In Death brings a Wisdom, contributors express deep insights about death and how it affects our daily living.
Working Closely with Death follows those who engage with death on a daily basis, and how they cope with and understand this subject.
Death and the Circle of Life explores how death is part of our natural life cycle while Death is Sacred presents multicultural and multifaith views of death.
A Matter of Life and Death is due to be published in August/September 2016.
In due course I will post several excerpts from the book.