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Student of the Path : Mindfulness of Death Series, aka "Run Away! Run Away!"

I'm back again with another series following the Metta one. This time on a topic just as important and integral to the Buddha's teaching, death! As before I will post the whole series in one thread.

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Comments

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    Great post and well written, loved it. Yes our minds always perceive the future as something tangible and real. This future seems to create a striving towards something that we never quiet reach. A belief that somewhere in the future things will get better.
    All the while sweeping death under the rug, pretend it doesn't happen. If it does, it is a shock and a tragedy and nobody knows how to behave around it.
    Yet everyone and everything will die/change. It's as natural as birth. We just fail to see the connection. We hold on so tightly to what we call our life.

    We then invented religions to try and cope with the idea of dying. If we live eternally in heaven or even get reborn. That's not so bad.
    But when it's seen that these are highly unlikely and this is truly felt. You are left with a situation the mind/ego can't deal with. It's own unavoidable death. No afterlife. Game over. The end.

    Then you are left with that story of the guy holding the vine. The mice are chewing the vine. The dragons are below waiting to eat you. The tiger is at the top of the cliff.
    May as well reach over and eat the wild strawberry. :) that is freedom.

    lobsterVastmind
  • Thanks @Jayantha <3

    Is Jack Bhavana's name short for 'Jackalyn' Bhavana? o:) What a babe, luv the toothy smile ... and now back to the deadly and welcome sermonising ... (iz I too wikid to the celibates?) o:)

  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited September 2015

    Haha @lobster you hit the nail on the head more then you know. I named the skeleton Jack for two reasons, one because of jack skeleton from nightmare before Christmas, the other being that it was nickname I often called the woman I married, who was named Jackelyn.

    The skull in the picture is actually from my kuti, there are a few skulls around bhavana. This is I believe a real skull, the hanging skeleton is fake.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited September 2015

    ....what....hanging.... skeleton.....? :fearful: :skull:

    silver
  • @federica said:
    ....what....hanging.... skeleton.....? :fearful: :skull:

    The one in the meditation hall of Bhavana duh. Its fake because having a real skeleton is illegal as far as I know in america. In the theravada world they have real skeletons in front of their meditation hall.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Well, 'duh' back atcha.... whattamI, psychic...? (Actually, I AM working on that....! :D )

    I think Medical schools are permitted to have real skeletons, or at least, they are in the UK.
    Indeed, some are actually given dead bodies of those who have bequeathed their bodies to medical science, for research or educational purposes.
    Now that is detachment. A certain "I don't give a damn what you do with it, I'll be dead anyway" approach.
    Quite healthy, if you ask me....

  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited September 2015

    "I don't give a damn what you do with it, I'll be dead anyway"

    This is my feeling pretty much, although I do have a sort of romanticism about cremation, or lately one of these sky burials, where they leave you out in the wild to be eaten by the carrion eaters, talk about going back to the earth! I doubt THAT is legal anywhere in the west haha.

    silver
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I actually wrote that in my will as the most favoured way of disposing of my remains.... Whether it will get done or not.... well, I won't be around to ensure it - will I??

    silver
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    Gratitude for the teachings Jay.

    One of my constant death meditations over the years have been real flowers on the alter.

    Offering of Flowers:
    • The freshness, fragrance and beauty of flowers are impermanent.
    • Fresh and beautiful flowers will soon become withered, scentless and discoloured.
    • This reminds us of the Buddha's teaching that all things are impermanent.
    • We should value what we have now and live in the present.

    -- http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/observances.htm

  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited September 2015

    @federica said:
    I actually wrote that in my will as the most favoured way of disposing of my remains.... Whether it will get done or not.... well, I won't be around to ensure it - will I??

    You could be reborn as a Deva and then watch what they do to your body. I think something like that was in a story in the Pali Suttas. But as a Deva you'll be so blissed out you wouldn't care one bit what happened to that old disgusting filthy ugly human body(thats from the suttas, I don't mean YOU specifically lol).

    @Vastmind said:
    Gratitude for the teachings Jay.

    One of my constant death meditations over the years have been real flowers on the alter.

    Offering of Flowers:
    • The freshness, fragrance and beauty of flowers are impermanent.
    • Fresh and beautiful flowers will soon become withered, scentless and discoloured.
    • This reminds us of the Buddha's teaching that all things are impermanent.
    • We should value what we have now and live in the present.

    -- http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/observances.htm

    Booo fresh flowers. I think thats my issue with the whole flowers on the altar thing, people don't leave the dead and withered flowers on there, as soon as they die wither and die our aversion springs up and we need new pretty flowers!

    I've never thought of the "potential" aspect of the flower though, that it WILL become withered. A valid aspect but we should keep those dead flowers on the alter longer.

    so yes in summation if I had a monastery there would be dead flowers all over :P

    lobster
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited September 2015

    Oh no....I'm not talking fresh flowers in a vase..I agree with you on that. I think they miss the whole point.....i'm talking cut and placed there. The tops. I have 3 week old roses on mine that Hubby sent me for our anniversary. The mediation doesn't really work if they aren't left for a long period of time.

    I try to keep a fresh arrangement on my dining room table most of the time....after about a week, when they start to droop...I cut the tops, and on the alter they go. The ones now are so dried up...they are crunchy and black and would crumble with a blow. Just like I will be...when I'm dead.

    I'll post a pic...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited September 2015

    I could also be re-born as a Himalayan Condor, being fed the abandoned carcass of a dead person, [Do NOT click this last link if you're squeamish - seriously!] by its parents... which could have been me in my previous life. Now that would be so cool...!

    lobster
  • @federica im using one of those shots in part 3 hah

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited September 2015

    Ooops..... If I stole your idea....

    Good job!.... if you're "stealing" mine!!

    VastmindBhikkhuJayasara
  • @federica said:
    Ooops..... If I stole your idea....

    Good job!.... if you're "stealing" mine!!

    haha I originally had that picture for this article, but I figured I'd leave it towards the end where you start doing contemplation on corpses.

    Many, if not most people, will not want to go past the practice in the next article, even though all of the practices are for lay or monastic, it takes someone with a bit more comfortability with death to go deeper.

    unlike you I'd just post the picture up, not give a warning and a link LOL!

  • @Jayantha said:
    ... I'd leave it towards the end where you start doing contemplation on corpses.

    These monks are so advanced ... I have to do my contemplation on a cushion. Not sure sitting on a corpse is legal, decent or hygienic ... (must have got something wrong as usual ...) :3

    Earthninja
  • @Earthninja said: But when it's seen that these are highly unlikely and this is truly felt. You are left with a situation the mind/ego can't deal with. It's own unavoidable death. No afterlife. Game over. The end.

    I think what makes accepting death a challenge is that we're also dealing with survival instinct, which is like a biological imperative. But clearly this question is central to Buddhist practice, thinking of teachings like not-self and impermanence.

    lobsterEarthninjaVastmind
  • Like @Vastmind I use trimmed ex-decorative flowers for Buddha offerings. Peeople use dried flowers so why not ...

    Death is very goth and chic and I have a couple of nightglow skulls on one of my shrines. I also keep a real one inside my head at all times. :skull:

    kapalas are cool but some people are creeped out by non chicken bones ...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapala

  • Nice presentation @Jayantha.
    To understand life, we must understand death. Death is one of the four sufferings because, in our fundamental darkness (ignorance) we do not understand death. Hence, we fear it. Hence it becomes a source of suffering.

    Some westerners may find the Himalayan practice bizarre. But it is no more bizarre then putting a body in a box, digging a hole about 6' deep and dumping the body into the hole. Nor any more bizarre than incinerating a body until nothing remains but a few bone fragments and a pile of ash. Of course, all are valid and all have solid cultural and historical origins.

    All this heavy thinking has made my eyebrows hot and my ears glow red..

    Peace to all

    silver
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Lionduck said, "All this heavy thinking has made my eyebrows hot and my ears glow red.."

    --
    Actually, I think it's all that coffee you be drinkin'. ;)

    Walker
  • Only cyber-coffee =)

  • @SpinyNorman said:
    I think what makes accepting death a challenge is that we're also dealing with survival instinct, which is like a biological imperative.

    have you taken the Buddhism and Modern Psychology Course? if not I highly suggest it.

  • @Jayantha said: have you taken the Buddhism and Modern Psychology Course? if not I highly suggest it.

    Which course do you mean exactly? I have studied quite a lot of psychology but not as part of a Buddhist course.

  • its on the coursera website taught by professor robert wright, " buddhism and modern psychology". I posted about it a few weeks back.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited September 2015

    @SpinyNorman , here you go....

    Together with @Bunks....

  • three hindrance of mindfulness at death
    1. mara
    2. pain of marman
    3. attachments to such as family left behind, material possession, fame, power ect.

    in 수호국계주다라니 경10(守護國界主陀羅尼經) - one of the sutras of Vajrayana- describes 28 features that describes where the individual would go after death

  • @KarikoPuppies said:
    three hindrance of mindfulness at death
    1. mara
    2. pain of marman
    3. attachments to such as family left behind, material possession, fame, power ect.

    in 수호국계주다라니 경10(守護國界主陀羅尼經) - one of the sutras of Vajrayana- describes 28 features that describes where the individual would go after death

    Dang! I knew there was a catch! :p

  • KarikoPuppiesKarikoPuppies Veteran
    edited September 2015

    <3 > @Lionduck said:

    practice makes perfect they say! we've done this(live & die & live & die..) many times and then we practice (buddhist practice) while we are alive so we are going to be ok ( I hope so! )

  • @KarikoPuppies said:

    practice makes perfect they say! we've done this(live & die & live & die..) many times and then we practice (buddhist practice) while we are alive so we are going to be ok ( I hope so! )

    Naturally. o:) B)

    When we achieve the ultimate awakening (whatever title you wish to put on it) then the 4 great sufferings are no longer sufferings. The three hindrances are as smoke in the wind.
    Death is but part of the cycle. But in or ignorance, we give power to the three hindrances. We certainly do our Buddhist practice while in our sentient mode (alive)...
    It is the conscious action which carries us through this life and into our next incarnation.

    Now, where was that chocolate ice cram and smores? <3

    silverKarikoPuppies
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited October 2015

    PART 2


    Student of the Path: Mindfulness of Death : Part 2 – The Five Remembrances: Subjects for Contemplation

    image

    With introductions done, let us jump into the practice. As promised today I’d like to speak about what I first heard called “The 5 Remembrances”, but are more often translated as “5 subjects for Contemplation” or “Themes” as translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi:

    AN 5.57
    Upajjhatthana Sutta: Themes

    “Bhikkhus, there are these five themes that should often be reflected upon by a woman or a man, by a householder or one gone forth. What five?

    (1) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to old age; I am not exempt from old age.’

    (2) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to illness; I am not exempt from illness.’

    (3) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to death; I am not exempt from death.’

    (4) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect [72] thus: ‘I must be parted and separated from everyone and everything dear and agreeable to me.’

    (5) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma; I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort; I will be the heir of whatever kamma, good or bad, that I do.

    Notice how three of these five facts correlate to three of the four “divine messengers” the Buddha had (old age, sickness, death) which spurred on his quest for freedom. Because we have this body, we cannot escape old age, sickness, and death. Because we cannot escape old age, sickness, and death, we cannot escape being separated from everyone and everything we hold dear, this is an inevitable fact of life. Finally we are the heirs of our actions, both in this very life and in future lives, whatever we do we will be subject to the results of those actions.

    As I stated in the previous section we do everything we can in our power to try to hide from these, but there is no place to hide. I believe this wonderful simile from the suttas explains this well. When mountains come rolling in on you from all four sides.. what can you do?:

    SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

    "What do you think, great king? Suppose a man, trustworthy and reliable, were to come to you from the east and on arrival would say: 'If it please your majesty, you should know that I come from the east. There I saw a great mountain, as high as the clouds, coming this way, crushing all living beings [in its path]. Do whatever you think should be done.' Then a second man were to come to you from the west... Then a third man were to come to you from the north... Then a fourth man were to come to you from the south and on arrival would say: 'If it please your majesty, you should know that I come from the south. There I saw a great mountain, as high as the clouds, coming this way, crushing all living beings. Do whatever you think should be done.' If, great king, such a great peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human life — the human state being so hard to obtain — what should be done?"

    "If, lord, such a great peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human life — the human state being so hard to obtain — what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?"

    "I inform you, great king, I announce to you, great king: aging and death are rolling in on you. When aging and death are rolling in on you, great king, what should be done?"

    "As aging and death are rolling in on me, lord, what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?

    I wanted to start with the five remembrances as it is a bit simpler and appropriate for those who are new to the practice or whom have severe anxiety with death. Jumping into the other methods right off may be too much for some. These five facts might also bring about lots of anxiety and fear let alone contemplation of a corpse. Notice how the Buddha states that these facts are to be reflected upon by both lay persons and ordained persons. This practice is not just for monastics but is beneficial for everyone.

    You can begin by simply reciting these five facts and using them as a subject of contemplation at least once daily. Don’t just let this become rote, contemplate and be mindful of the words and their meaning. Explore what it means to age, to become ill, to die, look at the signs of these in your own body and remember times when you were separated from loved ones. Contemplate how your actions here and now affect both yourself and others.

    This may bring up anxiety and fear at first, but that just means it is working and as time goes by you will slowly begin to grow accustomed and accepting to the fact that you will grow old, get sick, die, and be separated from everything you hold dear. This will bring freedom, peace, and happiness to your life, as well as a strong sense of gratitude. These are five undisputable facts will happen whether we accept them or not and it’s in our best interest to embrace them.

    This is not just for beginners either. Until the day we die or become awakened, all practitioners should keep these facts always in mind. This helps keep up the desire to practice and reminds us not to delude ourselves that we are exempt from these facts. Even an awakened being like the Buddha still grew old and sick and experienced bodily pain.

    Next week we will go deeper into Mindfulness of Death with further contemplations from the suttas. Begin this practice and make it a part of your life, stand your ground friends and do not run away, your courage will lead to freedom.

    federicaEarthninja
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 2015

    Next week we will go deeper into Mindfulness of Death with further contemplations from the suttas.

    Such a cheery soul. When do we get the good news? :p

    Any forthcoming teachings on 'Mindfulness of Life'? <3

  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Any forthcoming teachings on 'Mindfulness of Life'? <3

    Mindfulness of death IS Mindfulness of life, and vice versa. Seeing the rise and fall of things is heedfullness.

    Earthninjalobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Touché.

    lobsterLionduck
  • @Jayantha said: Mindfulness of death IS Mindfulness of life, and vice versa. Seeing the rise and fall of things is heedfullness.

    So what's your understanding of amata, the Deathless?

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    My favourite past time, hanging out in graveyards

  • Better than whistling past graveyards I guess. ;)

    Earthninja
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited October 2015

    Part 3


    http://jayantha.tumblr.com/post/131311889310/student-of-the-path-mindfulness-of-death-part-3

    Student of the Path: Mindfulness of Death : Part 3 – Contemplations Regarding the Body and Death

    image
    (see I told you @federica )

    So we now tread into some deeper territory with regards to mindfulness of death. These practices are often mistakenly put aside as “for monastics/not for lay persons” but I hesitate to agree with such statements. It is a matter of if you are ready to accept this teaching and practice, not the clothing you wear and vows you follow. I practiced these contemplations as a lay person and know the benefit they can bring.

    That being said these practices are not necessarily right for everyone “at this moment”, which is why for some it may be best to stick to daily practice of the 5 subjects of contemplation for now. You will know if these practices are right for you by analyzing your mind and body while doing the practice.

    What does the picture above illicit in you? Is it an uncomfortable, queasy feeling? Or a feeling so strong it creates much anxiety and repulsion and in the end is just not beneficial, but possibly harmful to you, causing much physical distress? If it is the latter, no worries, continue your practice and come back to it later.

    While the practice requires grit and toughness to stick with uncomfortable experiences, there is a balance to that. The Noble Eightfold Path is called “The Middle Way” for a reason. We are not trying to be self-mortifying and abusive to our mind and body. This is not an iron man contest, in fact it’s not a contest at all, it’s your path of practice towards freedom and a happiness not conditioned by external forces. Do not fall into judging yourself, it will only spiral into aversion.

    Now let us get into the practice. We will be covering two practices in this article, Charnel-Ground contemplation(corpse decomposition) and 32 Parts of the Body. For both of these we go to Digha Nikaya #22 Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta: The Greater Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness
    (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.22.0.than.html) under mindfulness of body.

    _


    The Nine Charnel-Ground Contemplations


    image

    The picture above gives a good graphic of this practice. The charnel ground was a place where bodies were left out to decompose or to be cremated. It was a place where monks during the Buddha’s time would go to contemplate death and meditate. It was also a practice to take the patches of cloth from long decomposed corpses and sew them together to make a robe to wear.

    The Buddha in this practice is imploring us to compare our body to the various stages of a decomposed body, as one day these bodies that we attach to and hold dear, will be strewn upon the ground, devoid of life. This is not to make us feel scared or disgusted, but to slowly come to equanimity with regards to the impermanence of this body, to break our illusions.

    ‘Again, a monk, as if he were to (1) see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel-ground, one, two or three days dead, bloated, discoloured, festering, compares this body with that, thinking: “This body is of the same nature, it will become like that, it is not exempt from that fate.” ‘So he abides contemplating body as body internally, externally, and both internally and externally. And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. And that, monks, is how a monk abides contemplating body as body.

    8. ‘Again, a monk, as if he were to (2) see a corpse in a charnel-ground, thrown aside, eaten by crows, hawks or vultures, by dogs or jackals, or various other creatures, compares this body with that, thinking: “This body is of the same nature, it will become like that, it is not exempt from that fate.”

    9. ‘Again, a monk, as if he were to (3) see a corpse in a charnel-ground, thrown aside, a skeleton with flesh and blood, connected by sinews,... (4) a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected by sinews,... (5) a skeleton detached from the flesh and blood, connected by sinews,... (6) randomly connected bones, scattered in all directions, a hand-bone here, a foot-bone there, a shin-bone here, a thigh-bone there, a hip-bone here, a spine here, a skull there, compares this body with that... _‘Again, a monk, as if he were to (7) see a corpse in a charnel-ground, thrown aside, the bones whitened, looking like shells ... , _(8) the bones piled up, a year old...(9) the bones rotted away to a powder**_, compares this body with that, thinking : “This body is of the same nature, will become like that, is not exempt from that fate."

    _


    Reflection on the Repulsive: Parts of the Body


    image

    This reflection is most often prescribed as a counter to a mind infested by lustful thoughts. If you find yourself overcome with attraction towards a person you are to contemplate the parts of that body that we seem to be infatuated with. It can also be a good practice to go along with corpse contemplation in developing equanimity towards your body and other’s bodies.

    A word on this practice and the translation “repulsiveness”. The pali word “Asubha” is the negation of the word Subha, which means beautiful. So “not beautiful” would be a valid and better translation. This practice is not meant to bring you into the depths of aversion, disgust, and hatred for the body.

    To repulse is to push back or resist. We do this practice to push back the illusions we uphold and to resist being overcome by them. There is the rather amusing and interesting story in the Vinaya, the book of rules for monastics, where the Buddha taught a group of monks this practice then went into seclusion. When he came out of seclusion a month later he was told that dozens of monks had become so averse to their bodies they either killed themselves or had others kill them.

    So remember this, there is nothing to be attracted to or repelled by with the human body. It is simply a biological machine that does what it does. We add on the extra layer, our attachments and aversions, our likes and dislikes. This practice goes a long way in moving us towards that equanimity, away from our attachments and aversions, to see the body as it really is, not as we wish it to be.

    ‘Again, a monk reviews this very body from the soles of the feet upwards and from the scalp downwards, enclosed by the skin and full of manifold impurities: “In this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, mesentery, bowels, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, tallow, saliva, snot, synovic fluid, urine.′

    Just as if there were a bag, open at both ends, full of various kinds of grain such as hill-rice, paddy, green gram, kidney-beans, sesame, husked rice, and a man with good eyesight were to open the bag and examine them, saying: “This is hill-rice, this is paddy, this is green gram, these are kidney-beans, this is sesame, this is husked rice”, so too a monk reviews this very body: “In this body there are head-hairs,... urine.” ‘So he abides contemplating body as body internally, externally, and both internally and externally... And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. And that, monks, is how a monk abides contemplating body as body.’

    As you can see in the simile to go along with the teaching, we are to know the parts as they are, without attachment or aversion. As this pile of rice has such and such different types, this body has such and such different parts, all of which are impermanent, subject to illness and decay.

    Both of these practices are given by the Buddha in a pretty straight forward manner. You can practice these directly as the Buddha taught. I use both of these in my daily practice that I will explain in the final part of this series. I’ll be back next week for part 4, which may or may not be the final part, I haven’t decided just yet.

    WalkerEarthninja
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    Nice one @Jayantha , these are really great posts. I love the images. Very insightful. :)

    I'm not much of a sit down and contemplate something specific kind if guy, I do contemplate my own death. Alan Watts used a great analogy of a person falling to the ground. He was clinging to a rock out of fear.
    May as well let go of the rock!

    I've found contemplation of death really helpful. I had intense fears of annihilation and confusion arise yesterday. Attention was looking at the absence of "I"
    Mind began reeling and trying to grab any handhold it can.
    Something came up in that moment, what is there to hold onto? This body will die. Rather choose truth with no exceptions.
    After that experience things became quiet. Mind was empty background noise. Everything just flowing in this unknown.

    From Alan Watts. - "See the meaning that everything is in constant decay is your great helper, you don't have to try to let go! There is nothing to hold onto!"

    pegembara
  • I really liked the vultures. Reminded me of bacon, which I no longer eat. =)

    However I did have a nice cup of tea ...

    I think a kapala mug is ideal for the bikkhu who has Nothing. You could collect a dharma tea set ...

    ... here to help o:)

    Earthninja
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited October 2015

    You're putting me off my quorn fillets. Not ice-cream though.

  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran

    @lobster said:
    I really liked the vultures. Reminded me of bacon, which I no longer eat. =)

    However I did have a nice cup of tea ...

    I think a kapala mug is ideal for the bikkhu who has Nothing. You could collect a dharma tea set ...

    ... here to help o:)

    is that the bottom part of the mug or some sort of ice cube or something?

  • I think it is reminder that the cup of tea has died and needs a new pouring ...

    Earthninja
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    It looks like it's part of the cup, but at first I thought it was one of those cream creations.
    :skull: === >:)

  • It is reminiscent of the Mexican 'Day of the Dead'.

  • @Jayantha said:
    Mindfulness of death IS Mindfulness of life, and vice versa. Seeing the rise and fall of things is heedfullness.

    Perhaps.
    I do find balanced monks are very much focussed on life as well as the weird corpse stuff. <3 Are they complemetary? Does focussing and contemplating murder and mayhem, make one more loving and compassionate?
    Perhaps.

    I feel the key is skilful heedfullness/awareness. In other words it is the context and applacability.

    Contemplating death is sobering, though some run from its inevitability. The obsession with youth and ones living appearance and permenance is one manifestation of running and sitting in remembrance of annihilation allows for valuing ones present conscious awareness ...

    ... and now back to the wheely bin ... B)

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited October 2015

    A point to contemplate. Where did the young boy go? Did he really grow old or is there something else going on?

    "Aging and death" only makes sense when there is a "thing" that was born, ages, gets sick and finally dies. But what "thing" could that be if one is unable to pin down that "thing". How could there be a "thing" when it changes from moment to moment? To become something else implies there is a "thing" that changes into something else. But for a "thing" to truly exist, it must not change. Yet one can feel very attached to that "person" like trying to grab a handful of sand. It always slips through ones fingers no matter how hard you try. In fact we ourselves are like sand.

    Such a paradox.

    lobsterEarthninja
  • @pegembara said: "Aging and death" only makes sense when there is a "thing" that was born, ages, gets sick and finally dies. Such a paradox.

    Not really, it's just a process. A process is still an experience though.

    lobsterpegembara
  • @SpinyNorman said:

    Who or what dies? Not a valid question.

    "From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications... From birth as a requisite condition, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering."

    When this was said, a certain monk said to the Blessed One: "Which aging & death, lord? And whose is this aging & death?"

    "Not a valid question," the Blessed One said. If one were to ask, 'Which aging & death? And whose is this aging & death?' and if one were to ask, 'Is aging & death one thing, and is this the aging & death of someone/something else?' both of them would have the same meaning, even though their words would differ. When there is the view that the soul is the same as the body, there isn't the leading of the holy life. And when there is the view that the soul is one thing and the body another, there isn't the leading of the holy life. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata points out the Dhamma in between: From birth as a requisite condition comes aging & death."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.035.than.html

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