"In order to die confidently, we have to transcend our ordinary impulse to protect ourselves – to maintain the life that we have and who we think we are. At the moment of death, if there is any grasping or attachment present within our mind, we will not be able to practice; we'll experience fear when we realize all that must be let go of in that very moment. We may feel that we're most attached to individuals and phenomena other than ourselves – our loved ones, friends, homes, and belongings. However, at the very root of our ordinary existence is a deeply ingrained tendency to grasp at the self. We are obsessed with ourselves and our own experience. We are profoundly self-involved, so that it's very difficult for us to take the focus off of ourselves for substantial periods of time. When we suffer, we suffer all the more because of the amount of energy we invest in that suffering.

"Developing bodhichitta, the mind of enlightenment, enables us to cut through this deep habit of making ourselves important, of always worrying about ourselves, and of feeling that our suffering is unique simply because it's ours. This month we will contemplate the mind of enlightenment, as well as work with techniques to help us begin to reverse our strong habits of self-grasping. By doing so, we will begin to lose our anxiety, fear, and hard outer protective shell so that we can be present, fearless, and confident at the moment of death."