A paragraph from Chapter 21
Today, I don’t fear death because I believe death is not the end; it is merely part of my soul’s journey. And so, like with everything I do in life, I make preparations for my journey. When my time comes, my assistant, Peta, knows exactly where to find all my instructions, as well the items I have chosen to be included in my coffin. It may seem odd, but I have written the order of service and specified all the details. I am to be cremated in my red wedding outfit. There is a framed photo that Jeremy took of me dancing, which I want placed on my coffin. I am to be buried with a collection of items that represent important parts of my journey in this life: my dancing foot bells, bangles I wore on our wedding day, a picture of Jeremy, a packet of bindis, my favourite book, A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, as well as representations of Ganesha, Krishna and the symbol, Om.
Included will also be an excerpt from an article by Douglas Preston, entitled I Took The Dalai Lama To A Ski Resort And He Told Me The Meaning Of Life. When a young waitress asks the Dalai Lama what the meaning of life is, ‘The Dalai Lama answered immediately. “The meaning of life is happiness.” He raised his finger, leaning forward, focusing on her as if she were the only person in the world. “Hard question is not, ‘What is meaning of life?’ That is easy question to answer! No, hard question is what make happiness. Money? Big house? Accomplishment? Friends? Or…” He paused. “Compassion and good heart? This is question all human beings must try to answer: What make true happiness?” He gave this last question a peculiar emphasis and then fell silent, gazing at her with a smile.’
Before losing Jeremy, I thought I had found the answer to this question but now I was searching all over again. If my future contained happiness and laughter then it was no good just sitting around, waiting for death to claim me.
I had to go out and find happiness again in this lifetime.
Significance of this excerpt:
Are you happy? What is happiness?
I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot these last few weeks. And I remember writing about what the Dalai Lama had said about happiness in an article I had read.
So, today I share with you the excerpt from the book which deals with this. But, I also share with you a blogpost that I wrote in August 2015 – when I was HAPPY. Happiness is….by Shalini Bhalla
Look out for Excerpt 14 coming soon
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