A Bigger View

The following excerpt is from the book Being With Dying by Joan Halifax

Although one friend of mine was dying of ovarian cancer, she was still obsessed with her work as a graphic designer. Hooked up on an IV as well as to her computer, she was finding it very difficult to face the end of her life. One day, at the request of her daughter, a Tibetan doctor came to visit her. He instructed my friend to sit on a mountaintop and look into the sky as an antidote to her habitual fixation on her work and her fear of dying. Later in the week when she had regained a little strength, she asked to be taken to the ski basin high above Santa Fe. She and her daughter sat for an hour in near silence, as they watched the clouds moving across the late-afternoon Southwestern sky. At her mother’s memorial service, her daughter told us that this was the pivotal moment in their relationship. The intimacy that had opened up for them was born in that quiet afternoon in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and she felt it was that intimacy and spaciousness that had helped her mother die.

Whether we open to the sky or sea or simply sit in stillness and silence, when we move away from the familiar ground of ideas, mental chatter, and compulsive work that has seemed to support us, we can discover the space that is our true home, our original dwelling place.

Bring yourself to this place where you already are, your original dwelling place. A bigger view is available to you right now in the unfiltered experience of this very moment – an experience below the rippling of concepts and deeper than language. Just sit down and breathe. Take a moment to stabilize your mind allowing your natural wisdom to arise. I promise that you will see for yourself that nothing including your own individual identity, exists in the absolute sense in terms of an unchanging, permanent truth. With our view of reality wide and clear, we discover that inexpressibly vast horizon of not-knowing, shining in the dawn of silence and surrender.


  1. This is an important post. . Several of my husbands friends have died in the past couple of years. Oddly the more elderly ones moved toward death with peace and acceptance. but the youngest one died still in denial and left his family with a lot of work to do to get his estate organized. I have had two friends die in the last year. One of cancer and she accepted it peacefully. The other of Covid and for her death was a merciful release from physical and mental torment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice! For me, silence with another opens up a possibility of communion which is deeper than communication. I truly believe that when we sit in silence with each other or the universe there are other deeper ancient communications taking place that far outweigh the value of language and concepts. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s