To me, “presence of mind” suggests a state of being present in both time and physical space, of occupying the here and now. By emptying our minds of thoughts of the past and the future, of other people and places, obligations and chores, we free ourselves to fully occupy and appreciate this moment, this place–which are no more and no less important or meaningful than any other moment and place.
“Be willing to face death in order to affirm life”
At first, this statement seems almost paradoxical. Death is the antithesis of life; it represents the loss of a life’s work in an instant. In facing death, how can one possibly give more value to life?
To me, the answer to this lies in the fact that the presence of death implies life is finite. If life were never-ending, there would be nothing special about any particular day. An individual would have millions upon millions more days to live, and each passing day becomes less remarkable than the last. Instead, a finite life inherently gives value to every moment of one’s life. As we have a limited number of days to live, our actions each day become meaningful, as that day becomes a meaningful unit of time in one’s life. It is in recognizing death and the finite nature of life that truly makes life special and worth living in the fullest way possible, a concept that I find rather beautiful.
Tea students in the Urasenke Urbana-Champaign association