Life-Death-Rebirth as CycleJun 01, 2022
Life is an ever-moving circle made of smaller ever-moving circles, but we don’t always see it that way. Instead we often work hard to ensure that people and things stay the same, so we don’t have to experience the discomforts of change. We grow close to someone, then they fall away. We feel the joy of birth, but then grieve what is lost. We get close to recognizing our life’s purpose, then realize there is further seeking to be done. Life can feel as if it’s working against us sometimes, when we don’t understand the laws of nature that govern growth, renewal and wisdom. Once we recognize that movement and changes in life are part of a natural life-death-rebirth cycle, we can stop trying to control and resist them and instead experience the peace found in our surrender.
Models of the cyclical life-death-rebirth pattern can be found everywhere in nature. Here are some of the more obvious examples:
The Daily Sun Cycle
The sun moves in a series of small and large circular journeys as it appears to rise in the east every morning and die to the west every night, thus beginning a new cycle every day. Even on a cloudy day when we can't see the sun, we know for sure that it rises and falls everyday in a neverending daily cycle of life-death-rebirth.
The Monthly Moon Cycle
The moon is one of the more interesting examples of a circular cycle to connect with. It only takes 28 days to complete and we can see where we are in that cycle by looking up into the night sky. Since the moon has influence over the water in our bodies, we can leverage the start of something new with the pull of her new moon, and build with momentum to the peak of her fullness, at which point we let go to release what’s tired or not working and wane into darkness for rest, wisdom gathering and renewal that prepares us for another round.
The Annual Cycle of Seasons
Similar to the moon’s cycle, but on a larger scale, the seasons begin with Spring when new life surges through the animal and plant kingdom in the form of babies and buds. Then moving into the peak of summer’s light and heat, an abundance of growth is fueled. In the fall things slow down when the days become shorter, and come winter the kingdoms in nature go to sleep or die off to prepare for renewal and rebirth in the spring, repeating another annual cycle of life-death-rebirth. Although some seasons are more subtle than others depending on where we live, we can always tune-in to the time of year to feel a connection to a season’s gifts and to be guided by its dance of life, death, and rebirth.
The Human Life Cycle
When we take a look at the four main life stages, from newborn to teenager to adulthood and onto eldership, we realize that our life is also an ever moving circle of life-death-rebirth. Depending on our beliefs, what happens after death could be that we move onto heaven, reincarnate back on earth, or cease to exist in a big black hole of nothingness. Although these visions may sound different, they have the common denominator of each person being rebirthed after death into a new state of being or nothingness. By acknowledging and celebrating the continuum of our life stages, we're able to harmonize with the cyclical nature of the universe and know our place in the web of life. We can find peace in the knowing that each stage exists not independently but in flowing conversation with the others.
Death Begets Life All Around Us
We can find models of life’s cyclical pattern everywhere. Plants that grow from seed to sprout and then bloom and die to propagate seeds for another life. Even the food chain speaks to the circular cycle of life when one animal or plant dies to feed the life of another. These examples in nature can actually help us accustom to the mysteries of life and death cycles and help us move through certain phases in life without resisting the change.
By recognizing the ways that we are reflected in and connected to the world around us, we are reminded that we are not alone, we are part of something larger, and from this connection we can find strength through transitions. When we begin looking around with mindfulness, we notice the many types of cycles that are inherent in every part of life. It becomes easier to embrace the the unknown instead of fearing it as we understand that we are always exactly where we should be in relation to the Universal wheel of life.
When we feel loneliness or start to question why certain changes have occurred in our lives, simply looking for all the powerful examples of cycles around us can be all the peace we need to move forward with purpose.