Here I would like to suggest another productive angle on contemplating death, namely to consider what comes afterwards. What will my life after death be like?
A common misconception is that life after death is the great unknown. Actually there are some very consistent and reliable sources that give us an insight into the reality that awaits us: accounts from those who have had out-of-body and near-death experiences and those from mediums who relay descriptions from people already on the other side. The book Projectiology by veteran projector Waldo Vieira provides a broad outline of the experiences of consciousness based on the author's personal projections and the evaluation of thousands of accounts by other researchers.
The following are some of the well established features of life in the extraphysical dimensions that I have found it beneficial to reflect on at different times.
It is quite literally breathless. After death we will no longer be breathing. As you focus your awareness on your breath right now, realize that YOU do not breath. The part of you that is thinking and feeling does not need breath. Your body is "the breather", a term that according to Waldo Vieira is used as a slang expression for intraphysical consciousnesses in some non-physical dimensions. Resting your awareness in your breathless self can be a mind expanding and joyous experience and is something you can do while engaged in formal meditation or while walking along or simply sitting at your desk or on your couch.
Thoughts cause immediate action. One of the challenges of studying projections of consciousness (out-of-body experiences) to standards acceptable to hard science is the difficulty of obtaining replicable and consistent data. Two projectors aiming for the same target location rarely report it identically and a single projector can rarely repeat multiple visits to defined targets. A key factor for this seems to be the impact of people's thoughts and emotions on their actions while projected. As they are moving towards their target something takes their attention or comes to their mind and off they go towards that new "goal". Imagine your whole self actually responding to all your passing thoughts and emotions (“I think I am going to go to the kitchen and have something to eat”, “man that guy was so annoying, I want to give him a piece of my mind”, “I am bored, I want to be at the beach”, “that girl is hot”, “God I hate this job, I wish I could be in the pub”, “she is such a bitch”, “he is cute”, and so on). Or imagine yourself fixated on a singular thought, as often happens to people who are stuck on anger, revenge or resentment for people in their lives. People who die with these unresolved fixations often continue with those fixations for long periods outside of the body, possibly even turning themselves into extraphysical intruders of the people they feel the resentment and hatred for. Taking regular stock of our state of mind while still alive, working towards a calmed and controlled mind and resolving our difficult relationships, even if only in our own mind, are invaluable in preparing us for the other side.
Thoughts can interfere with perceptions. There are other reasons why paying attention to our mind is important in preparing us for the extraphysical dimension. The extraphysical environment is highly plastic, i.e. it responds to people's thoughts. In the extraphysical dimensions our thoughts literally create realities. Assume you are outside of the body and meet someone who reminds you of an old friend, you may overlay an image of the old friend over the person you are actually meeting, or introduce things that you associate with your friend, perhaps their car, or their pet into the environment. They are not really there, but to your mind they are. The movie What Dreams May Come contains some powerful representations of people who have died and are caught in their own minds. During our nightly projections to the extraphysical dimensions, usually unconscious, many of us are literally sleep walking, wondering around in creations of our own minds (we call them "dreams") and quite unconscious to the extraphysical reality in which we are moving about. Again a great incentive to pay attention to the wanderings of our mind.
Like minded consciousnesses group together, i.e. dimensions are composed of groups of people who share the same fundamental frequency, which is determined by their underlying patterns of thoughts and emotions. All the hells and heavens we can possibly imagine, and everything in between, exists in the form of extraphysical dimensions. Because these environments are created through the collective patterns of thoughts and emotions of their inhabitants, it is more precise to think of extraphysical dimensions as states of consciousness rather that places. In other words, a hell is a dimension occupied by consciousnesses caught in their own suffering and the heavens are only as exalted as our state of consciousness allows. People with fixed beliefs, about what to expect when they die will often find just that. This may seem appealing to the faithful, but from the perspective of the evolution of consciousness it is very limiting, because such consciousnesses often spend very long periods in their "heavenly" consensus realities. These environments are very conservative, with any deviance of the accepted norms frowned upon and inhibited by the inhabitants, perpetuating the mental fossilisation that was inculcated during physical life. And of course this does not only affect those of us with religious indoctrination. The more wide-spread materialist indoctrination means that vast numbers of extraphysical consciousnesses continue to live as if they had a body, "eating" and "drinking", sleeping, and moving about like humans, rather than flying and enjoying the full extent of options on offer in extraphysical life. Our state of consciousness will determine our extraphysical destination, and so we can change our destination by changing our state of consciousness. The preparation for a rich and joyous extraphysical life starts now, while still in the body, by doing all we can to expand our mind, by challenging our fixed beliefs and preconceived ideas, by engaging with new and transcendental ideas and by looking beyond human conventions and beliefs.
The period after death will be a stage in our preparation for the following life. The cycle of rebirth is not a period of toil in the physical dimension followed by a holiday in the extraphysical dimension. Nor will our subsequent existence merely consist of some kind of blissed out heavenly enlightenment. We may celebrate our reconnection with old friends and loved ones, but we will also be busy taking stock of our past physical existence: what mistakes can we learn from? What did we do splendidly? What did we forget to do altogether? And so on. And then we will be planning the next existence, which will in some way be connected with our current one. If we make lots of mistakes now we will try to do better next time and make up for our stuff ups. If we are highly "productive" in the sense of dealing with our baggage and working towards a goal that is bigger than our self, we will be working towards a bigger goal next time. So why wait for death to plan the next life. We can start now and work towards goals that transcend our one physical life, goals that we can work towards now, continue with in the extraphysical dimension and reconnect with once we return to the physical dimension. From this perspective it becomes clear that it is never too late to start something new. It is never too late, because at whatever point we start something, we are setting an intention that will continue beyond this physical life. It is much better to spend the last few years of our life taking actions on something or starting to learn something new, then to regret never having done it. If we do the latter we are likely to die depressed and frustrated at ourselves and take that reality into the next dimension, but if we start taking actions now this drive is equally likely to carry forward and leave us feeling much more positive. Many of us have spent innumerable life-times drifting through the cycle of rebirth passively following the karmic currents we generate. Once we begin to see the connection between our current life and our own future existences we are truly starting to live life from a multidimensional perspective and take a proactive approach to both our current life and those to follow, in this and other dimensions.