Contemplating the Certainty of Death

Funeral pyre

Death is certain.

The First Contemplation: Death is inevitable, no one is exempt.
The Second Contemplation: Our life span is decreasing continuously, every breath brings us closer to death.
The Third Contemplation: Death will indeed come, whether or not we are prepared.
The Fourth Contemplation: Human life expectancy is uncertain, death can come at any time.
The Fifth Contemplation: There are many causes of death – habits, desires, accidents can be precipitants.
The Sixth Contemplation: The human body is fragile and vulnerable, our life hangs by a breath.
The Seventh Contemplation: At the time of death, our material resources are of no use to us. 
The Eighth Contemplation: Our loved ones cannot keep us from death, there is no delaying its advent.
The Ninth Contemplation: Our body cannot help us at the time of death, it too will be lost at that moment.

This is a version of the Nine Contemplations of Atisha (982 – 1054 CE) which I got from Joan Halifax Roshi’s recording Being with Dying.