My books on buddhism finally arrived last week and I have started to read the first one. It has taught me not to take life for granted, no matter how awful it is. The book gives the reader practices that will help develop the mind and your self awareness. There is a practice that has made a profound impact in me. It begins with this statement: “Death is certain; the time of death is uncertain.” To begin the practice, the person must sit in a comfortable position, in a quiet place. Next, you have to close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing; don’t see it as an automatic process, see it as taking in life. Feel the air travel through your body, as it goes in an out of your lungs. Clear your mind of all thoughts and think about what that statement means: “Death is certain; the time of death is uncertain.” Let no other thoughts come into your mind, and sit still for 10 minutes, paying attention to your breathing, and trying to figure out what that statement means to you, and how you can apply it to your life. 

I’ve said this many times before: we go through life thinking that we are going to live forever, or, another way to say it, we live as though we will forever. Each day that goes by, people preoccupy their lives with so many things, that they aren’t thinking about death. Why? Because it makes them uncomfortable, it sends them into an episode of panic. In reality, death could come at any time of our lives. I feel sorry for people who take their lives for granted, and who spend more energy producing negative energies for themselves and for others. Unfortunately for them, I can’t allow their energies to bring me down. as contagious as they may be, I have to be strong and rise above their misery. If today was their last day on earth, they spent it being miserable and treating others with disrespect. That’s not who I want to be, and that’s not what I want to do. 
This practice has taught me that life should be enjoyed for what it is: an exquisite experience of sensory stimuli (sounds, visuals, tastes, feelings) that we perceive every single day. I refuse to let someone ruin it for me, especially someone who is consumed in so much misery that they take it out on others with anger. Let them ruin themselves. Let them dig their own graves. If I died tomorrow, at least people can say that I smiled, laughed, and made jokes.
My spiritual journey has taken an unexpected turn, but I am glad that it has.