A small anecdote from my life—about death

I left this in a comment on a Buddhist blog I ran across. The topic was on death and how nothing happens when you die. This story I share doesn’t actually respond directly to the post but it was triggered by some of the comments after the post. I thought I would share it here. I’ve edited it slightly:

I had a near death experience in which I was quite shocked at my reaction after the fact.

I was riding my bike in urban traffic and the street was rather narrow. A city bus began to pass me and to avoid it I tried to go up a curb at a driveway. I fell right in front of the bus, and I knew my head was in direct line to be under the tire of the bus.

I didn’t believe there was a way out and so I just lay there waiting for the crush of the tire on my head and an utter and complete calmness came over me. It was one of the most peaceful moments of my life.

I was pulled out of my revelry when my friend with whom I was riding started screaming at me, “get up, get out of the way!!” I looked up and the bus tire was over my head—the edge of it  an inch from my skull.

I got up and went on with my day a little more at peace with the world. I had stared death in the face and it hadn’t frightened me.

I can’t say I live with that peace at all times, but when death seemed inevitable and imminent I was okay with it.

I’d like to add that in general I fear death as much as the next person. I do not want to die. This was a sort of spiritual moment of transcendence. My favorite moments in life.

3 thoughts on “A small anecdote from my life—about death

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  1. Yah, I came close to dying the other day. A car almost ran me down. My life flashed before my eyes and I was almost bored to death.

    (Sorry, old vaudeville joke that was kind of on topic. I couldn’t resist.)

  2. I had a similar experience of peace at the prospect of death a few years ago when I was preparing myself for an operation. I felt that I was returning to a universe of blackness that was both the end and the source of everything. It was a genuine peace, and I think was a taste of what Buddhists call nirvana or sunyata. I don’t dwell on it now, but I do feel confident that the experience will return at the actual time of death.

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