I imagine many people think they're ready to die, and they actually die. But it's a very small, insignificant divided death, one separated from everything in the universe.
This was my own experience when I had cancer in the spring of 1976. I thought I was ready. Just before sleep each night, I felt I was coming closer to the gate of death. I would say to myself, "I think I'm ready."
Now I realize how foolish and ignorant I was. My misunderstanding didn't include the moon, the stars, the sky, my wife and four sons, my students and friends.
Embarrassingly enough, this was true even though I had been sitting zazen for sixteen years. Fortunately, I realized how much work I had to do; it was a very close call.
How close do wish we to cut it?
Calligraphy by Kwong Roshi. Quote from No Beginning, No End.