You have difficulty because you have feeling. You attach to the feeling you have without knowing just how this kind of feeling is created. When you do not realize that you are one with the river, or one with the Universe, you have fear. Whether it is separated into drops or not, water is water. Our life and death are the same thing.
When we realize this fact we have no fear of death anymore, and we have no actual difficulty in our life. When the water returns to its original oneness with the river, it no longer has any individual feeling to it; it resumes its own nature, and finds composure. How very glad the water must be to come back to the original river! If this is so, what feeling will we have when we die? I think we are like the water in the dipper. We will have composure then, perfect composure. It may be too perfect for us, just now, because we are so much attached to our own feeling, to our individual existence.
For us, just now, we have some fear of death, but after we resume our true original nature, there is Nirvana, That is why we say, “To attain Nirvana is to pass away,” “To pass away” is not a very adequate expression. Perhaps “to pass on,” or “to go on,” or “to join” would be better.
We say, “Everything comes out of emptiness.” One whole river or one whole mind is emptiness. When we reach this understanding we find the true meaning of our life. When we reach this understanding we can see the beauty of human life. Before we realize this fact, everything that we see is just delusion. Sometimes we overestimate the beauty; sometimes we underestimate or ignore the beauty because our small mind is not in accord with reality.
To talk about it this way is quite easy, but to have the actual feeling is not so easy. But by your practice of zazen (meditation) you can cultivate this feeling. When you can sit with your whole body and mind, and with the oneness of your mind and body under the control of the Universal Mind, you can easily attain this kind of right understanding. Your everyday life will be renewed without being attached to an old erroneous interpretation of life.
When you realize this fact, you will discover how meaningless your old interpretation was, and how much useless effort you had been making. You will find the true meaning of life, and even though you have difficulty falling upright from the top of the waterfall to the bottom of the mountain, you will enjoy your life.