What kind of insurance policy do you have?
Most religions have some sort of belief about a life after death. And of course, our actions in this life will decide what the afterlife is like for us. But is this also true of Buddhism? Isn’t this what kamma (karma) is all about – that if we do good deeds now, we will be reborn into a higher level or plane of existence.
Personally, I see no evidence that would support that theory. And until I experience that for myself, it is not something that I can give any credence to. Which leads me to the question of what insurance that we have, that we are on the right path when we follow the dhamma, the teachings of Buddha. When nowhere in his teachings does he offer a higher reward, nor a condemnation if we do not follow his teachings. He simply offered each of us a glimpse of reality and pointed the way toward understanding this existence. And it’s up to each of us to experience that to whatever degree we see fit.
I think that most of us would agree that this life is short, and few of us want to think about it being over. So it would seem somewhat natural to want to believe that there is more, something after this life that we can look forward to. Except that in my eyes, I see this as the antithesis of living a fully awakened life. And I personally would prefer not to wait for a reward in some next life, when I clearly see the reward is available here and now – the present. The acceptance and understanding of giving, non-attachment, impermanence, and dissatisfaction are some of the things one needs in order to develop a life insurance plan for today.
But the difference between a traditional life insurance policy, and a Buddhist life insurance plan, is that a traditional plan benefits your loved ones after your death – while a Buddhist one benefits you and your loved ones right now.
We all know that there are no guarantees in this life. And nothing that I say, or that the Buddha ever taught, can make any of us well, happy and peaceful. But we do each have the ability to open ourselves completely to the present moment. Seeing clearly and deeply the realities of this life, with total acceptance and void of expectation, we become of this World and not just something in it. And therein lies the liberation that allows us to eliminate the grasping and delusion for something more, something after, or something else. I encourage you to stop and observe this moment for all that it is, and let it go. Now you are free to experience the next moment, should there be one.
May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.