Traditionally, Halloween is known for being the night when the veil between the worlds of the dead and alive is thinnest. The concept of dead and alive can be equated, quite easily, with awake and asleep. Indeed, the acronym R.I.P. found on headstones and obituaries stands for Rest in Peace, suggesting that death is a place of rest and rejuvenation.
This is ironic, though. If death is a place of rest, why do we fear it so much? Why do we cling so tightly to the suffering that comes with being alive?
Alan Wallace, the internationally acclaimed Buddhist teacher who was at our past Summer conference in 2015, explains that the reason is due to the fact that within our human experience of being alive, our mind engages in an active mis-apprehension of reality. (For more on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4HBg4jdRZU) What he means by this is that we believe that there is a separation between ourselves and our environments (whether they be here or in the ‘ever-after’). This can lead to all sorts of destructive mind-sets, such as anxiety, insecurity, anger and disconnect. Moreover, this mis-apprehension of reality can dictate our thought processes, our reactions and our world view, and in turn, our perception of reality can be a quite localized. This is where suffering can stem from…a belief of being separate or isolated in a complex world.
So, on this Halloween night and the days that follow, our celebration of the removal of the veil between worlds can be applied to our own experience of being alive or ‘awake’. Can all veils drop? Can we rest in the knowledge that nothing is separate? Can we rest in the peace of being alive?…. The dead dancing in unison with the living… The unseen at one with the seen.
Or is this all too spooky? 🙂
Have a great Halloween Week!
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