17 October 2011

Ian Gawler Blog: Orgasm or the moment of death?

Here is a challenge for you. Would you rather read a blog that focuses on orgasm and mentions dying in passing, or would you rather read a blog on dying that mentions orgasm in passing?

You are sure to know someone who has not had an orgasm, but you will not know anyone who will not die one day. So which takes your attention? While it would be nice to know how to have a good orgasm, surely it would be good to know how to have a good death.

Nearing the completion of a major rewrite of my book, “You Can Conquer Cancer”, I came across a poem I wrote some time back. The theme is the moment of death. It seems to me that at the moment of death will come quite a revelation. As our body dies, and our emotions and thinking mind dissolves, we will find out what is left.

If there is nothing, well that will be no problem. If there is something, how can it be anything but extraordinary? In fact, it could be bloody marvellous. In the Tibetan tradition, they say that at the moment of death, as our connection with our body and mind drops away, our spirit is truly free and at that moment we have our best chance of becoming fully enlightened.

So maybe the moment of death is something to put off as long as practical – life is so wonderful; but then when it comes, maybe it is something to relish.

So I will be curious. The blog on orgasm has been one of the most read blogs I have written (not nearly the most read!). What about this one? Did you read the blog on orgasm? Did you pass it on to anyone else to read? Will you read this blog on the moment of death, and will you pass it on to anyone else?

Any comments? If you are new to all this, click on the comments section below to add one yourself, or to read what others have to say. And here is the poem:

The Clear Moment of Death

The moment of death may be the greatest moment of your life
It may be better than the best chocolate sundae you ever had
It may be better than the best orgasm you ever had
It may be better than the dearest, happiest moment you hold in your memory

For in that moment of death
The spirit separates from the body
And in that moment
It is free – totally free

If you can grasp that clear moment of death
Recognise it for what it is and experience it fully
Then you will experience fully who you really are
And unite with the mystery and essence of life itself

The only thing that scares me about the moment of death
Is that I may come to it unprepared

To be prepared for the moment of death
I would need to feel that I had lived fully
Loving and learning as much as I could during this lifetime
And feeling free of regrets

To be prepared
I would need to feel that those around me would be alright
That I could let go of my worldly attachments
And that they could release me

To be prepared
I would need to be free of fear
And to have had some glimpse of my own true nature –
Perhaps through the introduction of meditation

Being prepared for that clear moment of death
Then it may well be
That I would be able to recognise what I have been searching for always –
The heart and essence of who I really am.


1. The Cancer Council is organising a series of fundraising bike riding events around the country with the branding of “Conquer Cancer”. More power to them.

2. Next week I will present details of the new project I have been working on for the last 18mths – Mindbody Mastery – an on-line meditation based mind training program that features relaxation, mindfulness and meditation, along with a comprehensive support package designed to help you develop and sustain these practices.

RELATED BLOG Orgasm, healing and wellbeing

                           On Enlightenment


BOOKS    You Can Conquer Cancer: Ian Gawler. Chapter on Death and Dying

                The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: Sogyal Rinpoche. Provides widely accessible details on how to live well and die well

CD   Understanding death, helping the dying: Ian Gawler. Very useful to listen to with those you are close to as it can act as a catalyst to talk about this most important aspect of life that many people overlook in their conversations.

Programs/ Counselling: The Gawler Foundation


  1. my question is , we as humans have died before, unfortunately we dont have any recollection of it, otherwise we would not be so curious, scared or even writing about it? So why would that be that we can not remember how wonderful dying might be?

  2. I read this earlier in the day and am still smiling! Comparing dying to an orgasm, now that is a novel thought, and the more I think of it, the more it appeals to me. I think one layer of fear about death just fell off. Thanks Ian, this was terrific!

  3. Great blog Ian. I think we forget things all the time and sometimes they are important and we make a mess, like a bad accident. What I hope is that at the moment of death I remember what is important. Maybe it would help to have the right notes or the best advice at that time, given to us by someone who remembers what matters.

  4. What a great conundrum this life and death thing is. Having just discovered I have Leukemia and a cancerous growth on my Kidney my view on life and death has been under some intense review lately. Firstly to stop the fear of death I had to accept it, of course if I accept it then I need to have it somewhat understood in my head - how the hell do we do that. But what I found was that it was more important to understand life then understand death. So my goal is to (as best I can) release myself from the limitations I constantly chain myself to. All our life experiences shape us and in some way almost predict our future, so to lift myself up from those limitations as I face the future, to see things differently, to say things differently, to love differently and without limits, to look at life through a different set of eyes that is what is more important for me. When death comes in many many years, I hope I am so tired because of my new full life, I will embrace death with a smile of relief and a thankful joyous heart.

  5. A diagnosis of cancer forced me to really face my own death, to evaluate my life and make changes so that when death comes, I won't have any regrets. Having said that, I am working on prolonging this amazing life that we all have as hard as I can!!!

  6. I was meditating this morning, a dialogue with my brain tumor. What are you afraid of I asked it? Dying it responded. What aspect of dying? Being dead? No. Your last breath? No. What then? Suddenly I knew. It was not fear of dying at all, it was fear of living. Fear of living with all the fear. Death is the escape (for the tumor). For me it is the fear which is the enemy, the ingrained and habitual patterns of thinking which deplete my energy and my life. As one of the comments above says, it is time to look at life in a new way, to act differently, to be brave.

  7. The poem is really provocative. I am probably one of those people who has thought of themselves as invincible. Having good health and good fortune in life, it is easy to think I will live forever. The notion of living a life informed by death is really challenging but makes a sort of sense that is hard to ignore. So thanks for this; I feel my life may be about to change

  8. Your poem is really touching. I think I rather have to read about Orgasm than the moment of death since the latter saddens me.