I am re-reading Stephen Levine‘s A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last as a personal exercise schedule to take time to slow down and truly listen to my heart.
Part 2: Practice Dying
1. Color an anatomical heart:
Here is a PDF of one of my drawings for you to print out: Heart
2. Capture chapter highlights:
And it’s never too late to complete our birth. As Buddha said, “It doesn’t matter how long you have forgotten, only how soon you remember.”
To practice dying. To be fully alive. To investigate the dread of, and resistance to life and death. To complete my birth before it’s over. To investigate that part of myself that refuses to take birth fully, and hops about as though it still had one foot in the womb.
… it was the fear of life that needed to be investigated first…
… But when the heart at last acknowledges how much pain there is in the mind, it turns like a mother toward a frightened child.
3. Explore another source regarding listening to the messages from the heart:
“The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for (at some forty-five hundred heartbeats an hour). I know, however, of a young chronophobiac who experienced something like panic when looking for the first time at homemade movies that had been taken a few weeks before his birth. He saw a world that was practically unchanged-the same house, the same people- and then realized that he did not exist there at all and that nobody mourned his absence. He caught a glimpse of his mother waving from an upstairs window, and that unfamiliar gesture disturbed him, as if it were some mysterious farewell. But what particularly frightened him was the sight of a brand-new baby carriage standing there on the porch, with the smug, encroaching air of a coffin; even that was empty, as if, in the reverse course of events, his very bones had disintegrated.”
― Vladimir Nabokov,
4. Today’s angel card: