"Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits."
— Ludwig Wittgenstein — from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
"The Buddhists say that
Suffering exists but no one who suffers.
Deeds exists but no doers are found.
A path there is but no one who follows it.
Nirvana is but no one who attains it."
"You see the problem is this.. We have a certain number of actions we define as voluntary and we feel in control of those, then over against that all of those things that are involuntary. But the dividing line between these two is very arbitrary. Because for example, when you move your hand you feel that you decide whether to open it or to close it, but then ask yourself how do you decide? When you decide to open your hand do you first decide to decide? You don’t do you? You just decide, and how do yo do that? And if you don’t know how you do it, is it voluntary or involuntary? So we come to have a very arbitrary definition of self."
From Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold
"We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive."
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Choose a quiet place to meditate and sit comfortably. Focus on your breathing and allow your eyes to close naturally. You are about to increase your self awareness and mentally disassociate from your physical body.
Imagine that you are walking through a beautiful garden. It is natural and wild and never-ending. Feel the clean air entering your lungs, and observe the tranquil environment around you. If you use meditation CDs, follow your guide into the peaceful environment they describe.
The aim is to use your visualization skills to increase your awareness of this imaginary landscape while allowing your mind and body to release stress. Listen intently to the peaceful silence. You may start to hear birdsong or the rhythmic sound of raindrops. The stronger the mental imagery, the better.
Feel the texture of the grass under your bare feet. Stop to touch the flowers and feel the warm air circulating around you. Make every movement slow and deliberate. Take as long as you like to explore your tranquil garden.
It may help you focus if you continue walking at all times, so that the scenery is forever changing. Moving down a gentle slope in your garden will mirror the action of your consciousness going deeper.
After about 15 minutes you will be in a trance-like state, with little awareness of your physical body. Gently rouse yourself from the trance by counting backwards from five to one, taking deep breaths as you do. Give yourself a few moments before you open your eyes.
"Mindfulness is not concerned with anything transcendent or divine. It serves as an antidote to theism, a cure for sentimental piety, a scalpel for excising the tumor of metaphysical belief."
— Stephen Batchelor, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist