No one can escape the phenomenon of death and therefore, this has become a dreaded circumstance for people. When faced with the knowledge of a malignant disease existing in an individual’s body, a person comes close to the realization that soon enough he will not be existing physically, that he will soon die. The unknown or the mystery of what is beyond death causes fear for the dying and the idea that an individual will not be able to spend his days with his loved ones anymore causes both the departing and those who are left to be melancholic. This makes dealing with death and grief quite difficult which ultimately affects the rest of a person’s life just like what happened to the author during his mother’s death. Nevertheless, through the enlightenment he acquired through the teachings of Buddha, he was able to acquire wisdom and understanding and therefore was able to live an exemplary life. This paper then looks deeper into the perceptions of Thich Nhat Hanh and why he claims that death is non-existent, reflecting Buddhist philosophies. In his journey to understanding what death is all about, Hanh experienced illumination during one of his meditative states. He saw a japonica bush that blossomed one winter when warmer days came quite early. However, when winter conditions took its natural course, the blossoms fell to the ground. When the weather got warm again, another set of flowers blossomed and the wonderment whether those were the same blossoms that fell to the ground or whether they are different was asked by the hermit. The answer of the blossoms gave a new understanding to the seeker of truth and there begun his freedom from grief regarding death. He observes that the blossoms “were not the same and not different” (Hanh). When the day became warm during winter, it was a condition that allowed the flowers to blossom and they manifested themselves. However, when the conditions changed, bringing the cold gloomy days which are not convenient for the flowers to thrive, they fell from the bush instead but showed themselves again when the circumstances permitted their existence.
ReferenceHanh, Thic Nhat. No Death, No Fear: comforting Wisdom for Life. 2002. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.
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