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death and practice

JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

This body is only a rental body. It doesn't belong to me. I will be forced to return it to the Earth Wind Fire And Water Shop shortly.

In the meantime I will use this body to practice morality and concentration, study the Dharma, and gain insights and joy, for the good of all.

BunkslobsterwojciechShoshinVastmind

Comments

  • ClevblueClevblue Poulton Le Fylde New

    Yes, both are important, you need to stay healthy to practice the dharma for as long as you can, but the body, like all things, is impermanent and has to fail. Our minds don't, however, we just move on

    JaySonKaydeekaywojciech
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited January 2

    The Buddha said that a wordling has little difficulty accepting that the body is not self. It's the mind that's usually mistaken to be self.

    For the uninstructed, it would be better to be an annihilationist than an eternalist who believes in a soul consciousness.

    "It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another."

    Assutava Sutta

    lobsterJaySon
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Exactly so @pegembara my body salutes you. My mind on the other hand is no use to anybody ... including me.

    @JaySon said:
    In the meantime I will use this body to practice morality and concentration, study the Dharma, and gain insights and joy, for the good of all.

    You gonna be a bodysattva [sic] in fact? Seems a good plan =) I'll bring a 'walking corpse' - that would be me. Too gruesome?
    https://vividness.live/2011/07/22/disgust-horror-western-buddhism/

    Ay caramba. Might have start with pretty things ... a flower meditation perhaps ... :o

    JaySondhammachick
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    As a contrast, I would offer the need to respect the body, care for it, meditate on it and develop its subtle qualities. Entirely disregarding the body as a temporary encumbrance seems to be an advanced step for later, when your meditation is advanced enough that you are established.

    I'd say the same is true for the mind. It still has to be cared for.

    But then, look who is saying that, lol.

    JaySonlobster
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Exactly so @pegembara my body salutes you. My mind on the other hand is no use to anybody ... including me.

    @JaySon said:
    In the meantime I will use this body to practice morality and concentration, study the Dharma, and gain insights and joy, for the good of all.

    You gonna be a bodysattva [sic] in fact? Seems a good plan =) I'll bring a 'walking corpse' - that would be me. Too gruesome?
    https://vividness.live/2011/07/22/disgust-horror-western-buddhism/

    Ay caramba. Might have start with pretty things ... a flower meditation perhaps ... :o

    I saw my grandfather die about 2 months ago. I was there by his bedside. He had cancer.

    lobsterpegembara
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    "A monk who is constantly mindful of death will be diligent. He is disenchanted with all forms of existence. He has conquered attachment to life… The perception of impermanence grows in him, followed by the perceptions of suffering and non-self [the Three Marks of Existence]… The monk dies fearless, without delusion. If he does not attain Nirvana at that time, then he is at least assured of a happy rebirth in heaven for the next lifetime."

    Kannon
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    Be careful not to cross the line to Nihilism. Obsession with death and dying is not a Buddhist trait

    JaySonlobster
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @dhammachick said:
    Be careful not to cross the line to Nihilism. Obsession with death and dying is not a Buddhist trait

    Thinking about death has given me a lot of motivation to practice. The other motivation is the positive effect practice is having on my life. And, well, I enjoy practicing and would practice just for the sake of practicing.

    Ajahn Chah is one of my favorite teachers. I think he came across sometimes as nihilistic, but I don't think he was. I think he was just realistic.

    pegembaraMingle
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited January 3

    Meditation on death awareness is one of the oldest practices in all Buddhist traditions. In the words of the Buddha, “of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”

    https://www.bcbsdharma.org/article/shining-the-light-of-death-on-life-maranasati-meditation-part-i/

    There is a saying in Burmese: “One visit to a funeral is better than ten visits to the monastery.” You visit the monastery, you listen to Dhamma talks, discussions, and lectures, and perhaps you read Dhamma books too, but nothing changes very much. Why is that?
    It is due to the profound nature of illusion. The illusions of permanence, pleasure, and self are just too convincing, too real. You cannot even imagine that they are illusions. Nothing will convince you until you see through the illusion for yourself.
    When you go to a funeral, it is usually the funeral of someone known to you very well. If not a relative, then at least it will be a close friend. Then you may realise something about life that you cannot read in books, and you cannot hear in talks. When you see that things are impermanent, painful, and not subject to your control, you gain some faith in the Dhamma. “Only seeing is believing,” as the saying goes.

    In the Dhammapada it says:

    “In the unreal they imagine the real, in the real they imagine the unreal — those who abide in the pasture ground of wrong thoughts, never arrive at the real.” (Dhp v 11)

    Bhikkhu Pesala

    JaySonsilver
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    This body is only a rental body. It doesn't belong to me. I will be forced to return it to the Earth Wind Fire And Water Shop shortly.

    Your mind is also just a rental. :p

    JaySonsilverdhammachick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited January 3

    I think my Mind's a Time share apartment in Fuengirola...

    Vastminddhammachicklobster
  • MingleMingle Veteran

    @JaySon said:

    @dhammachick said:
    Be careful not to cross the line to Nihilism. Obsession with death and dying is not a Buddhist trait

    Thinking about death has given me a lot of motivation to practice. The other motivation is the positive effect practice is having on my life. And, well, I enjoy practicing and would practice just for the sake of practicing.

    Ajahn Chah is one of my favorite teachers. I think he came across sometimes as nihilistic, but I don't think he was. I think he was just realistic.

    Death as motivation. A perfect thing to meditate on. I do wonder what goes through ones mind when faced with their own mortality, I'm sure it definitely isn't "keeping up with the Kardashians" or "maybe this time I'll win that jackpot" just a profound sense of just being happy to be here. You can strive to do anything simply because you are breathing.

    lobster
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @Mingle said:

    @JaySon said:

    @dhammachick said:
    Be careful not to cross the line to Nihilism. Obsession with death and dying is not a Buddhist trait

    Thinking about death has given me a lot of motivation to practice. The other motivation is the positive effect practice is having on my life. And, well, I enjoy practicing and would practice just for the sake of practicing.

    Ajahn Chah is one of my favorite teachers. I think he came across sometimes as nihilistic, but I don't think he was. I think he was just realistic.

    Death as motivation. A perfect thing to meditate on. I do wonder what goes through ones mind when faced with their own mortality, I'm sure it definitely isn't "keeping up with the Kardashians" or "maybe this time I'll win that jackpot" just a profound sense of just being happy to be here. You can strive to do anything simply because you are breathing.

    When my grandfather came down with terminal cancer a couple years ago, we up and moved to Florida to live across the street from him. And that's exactly what I thought all the time: "I wonder how he copes with knowing he's going to die soon." "He has to be terrified." "I would be afraid if I were him."

    He wasn't a religious man in life, but he clung to Christianity in his last days. That was all I needed to know in order to understand that he lived in terror every day. He took xanax a lot.

    I couldn't imagine knowing you're going to die within a certain time frame. Wait a minute. I do know I'm going to die within a certain time frame.

    I'm terrified of not finding the Dharma in the next life. I want to practice now, during the information age, because all teachings are available. I don't want to squander my time with this life. This life may have the greatest potential than any life I've had in order to become a Stream Enterer. That's what I'd like to do.

    pegembara
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @JaySon said:

    I couldn't imagine knowing you're going to die within a certain time frame.

    I do/did. It affects all of us in a multitude of ways. With me, I found a lot of comfort here with my friends in this Sangha. I found it cathartic in a way because it freed me to face my hidden/dark self and come to terms with that part of me. But that was after a period of being consumed with the fact I was going to die and I thought that was pretty shit because, at my age, I DID. NOT. WANT. TO. DIE.

    I spent 2 years with a terminal diagnosis that was incorrect. I still have an incurable and degenerative disease (very similar to MS) that is slowly robbing me of my motor skills and speech (though some will be relieved with the speech part :lol: ) I will still die earlier than most and I'm still slightly pissed about it, but I'm calmer about it because I made the effort to make a change.

    I'm terrified of not finding the Dharma in the next life. I want to practice now, during the information age, because all teachings are available. I don't want to squander my time with this life. This life may have the greatest potential than any life I've had in order to become a Stream Enterer. That's what I'd like to do.

    That's a very good mindset to have.

    JaySonlobsterpegembarasilver
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @dhammachick You are a much more courageous person than I!

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    Thank you @JaySon - not sure if I'm braver or more stubborn though :smile:

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @dhammachick Ask my wife. She'll say that's my #1 quality. Stubbornness.

    dhammachick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I think Death will be an easier thing to face when people come to terms with how normal it is.
    Nobody gets out of it.
    I'm sure a big problem for people dying, is the fact that those around them react in extreme ways sometimes, and add to the upheaval, rather than lighten the load....

    VastminddhammachickJaySonsilver
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