The Buddha exhorted his
disciples to reflect on death a lot—to use it as the ultimate prompt to practice
now, in this moment; to practice every day. To stoke the fire before it’s too
late. To prepare ourselves to make skillful choices in the moment when we leave
this body. The same things that impede meditation are those that cloud our view
at death: pain and emotional distraction. The better we master these fetters in
life, the better chance we have of forgoing them at death.