This year at the Ängsbacka Tantra Week, I did a death meditation. It was a dream and nightmare coming true. I’m still processing and musing about my experience, but here is the story of Candice Leigh.
This is a video that can only be seen on my web page.
Tantra of Death.
We are given numbers and few instructions.
You may do whatever you want in the space but there is no talking.
Your number will be spontaneously called, as death does and you must leave without a word.
Just take your things and leave.
So we have two hours to live in this workshop.
We are left to question…
What will our last two hours of life look like?
Some people dance.
Some people hug and connect with others.
Some make love.
Some sit in stillness.
Some make love with other genders that they normally wouldn’t otherwise.
I did a bit of all the above in my own way.
I gazed into a sunflower for 25 minutes and cried at how many times I had seen a sunflower but how little I had ever noticed.
The grief of not noticing or under-appreciating life overcame me.
I hugged a girl I had a crush on and let a man I wasn’t attracted to deeply hug me.
Danced with strangers.
I hugged a dear friend of mine and cried at even the possibility of losing him.
I comforted a woman in great distress and I wouldn’t have spent my time anywhere else.
I hugged another stranger. Every time a number was called, I could feel his anxiety. His body shuddered and a faint whimper left his heart. We laughed at the tenderness, yet surprised in the depth. We gazed into each other’s eyes, deep in breath and then it happened…
My number was called.
So I left the moment with no goodbye.
And this is how it is. And how death can be. Of any kind.
And as powerful and quick and sharp as that– is how it happens.
No more lessons.
Your lover has kissed you for the last time.
Your story is over.
No more sunflowers.
To appreciate or not appreciate, however you choose it.
Did you grow?
Did you help me grow?
What have you left me with?
And how did I leave you?
The reality is sometimes we are left with more pain. Or a mixture of growth and pain. Or just so much undying raging love with no where to put it… or the love is gone or has been gone for quite some time.
Or the fact that we have suffered deep and real loss… can make love, connecting and attachment even more challenging than it was before.
We have tasted loves death blood and always know what could be near.
So why is death SO beautifully tantric?
Anything that wakes us up more profoundly to life, to feeling, to injustice, to pain—ours and the pain of others, to LOVE, gets us out of indifference, sleepwalking, half aliveness… will absolutely be tantric and cut the soil of our hearts to inspire its blossoming in a new way nothing else was quite sharp, bold or tragic enough to do.
And grieve it just as deep.