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Meditation on the body’s decay

At the monastery I frequent, years ago one of the American Buddhist monks, who had spent most of his monk’s life wandering Asia, had a photo scrapbook he dubbed ‘The Buddhist Playboy.” It was photos of decaying corpses used for those up for that form of meditation mentioned in the Pali canon. I never quite had the stomach to gaze at the album.

But I have long wrestled with the tumble-down-the-rabbit-hole of lustfulness, especially with one’s darkest deepest fantasies just 2-3 mouse clicks away. I find myself wrestling again with my old traveling companion, Lusty. And short of finding a charnel ground or tracking down that Buddhist Playboy, I’d welcome how others keep Lusty at bay. I recently encountered on a more wholesome web search, kusozu, Japanese watercolor paintings that graphically depict human decomposition, which were popular between the 13th and 19th centuries. I maybe should put those watercolors on speed-dial (or speed-click). 🙏

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited August 25

    Dead body meditation - not suitable for necrophiliacs 🤪🤐 o:)

    Here is this topic discussed earlier ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/comment/7668

  • That is QUITE a thread. By the way, the same monk who created the Buddhist Playboy, once asked the state funeral director and mortuary association for permission to create a columbarium at the monastery. Granted. He then asked about the possibility of doing traditional corpse meditation on the grounds. Blank stares and throat clearing around the room. A bridge too far ...

    lobster
  • The alternative is asubha.

    http://32parts.com/

    lobster
  • That is a very fine and useful website, @pegembara. It is on speed-click on my smart phone.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Hi OP - type "Human Autopsy" in to YouTube and you'll find a fair bit to work with there.

    Also, there are some good doco's about "Body farms" on YouTube that show the decomposition of the body fairly graphically.

    Good luck!

  • 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

    Ask a Monk. When they go without sex for a prolonged period of time, after a while, there is no lust or desire.
    Or ask a married couple whose kids are in school...

    BunksKerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Dhammika said:
    I recently encountered on a more wholesome web search, kusozu, Japanese watercolor paintings that graphically depict human decomposition

    Thanks for that, I had a search on the internet and found a few, very interesting.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    I am familiar with the body's decay. I am 69 and see it coming on within myself.

    As for lust, ah well, that is like any attachment. Just as with the Five Precepts, we practice mindfulness and relax into our urges, attachments and aversions. The idea of the Five Precepts is to increase our opportunity for learning how to relax into these things.
    At least, that is what we STRIVE for.
    I'm still working on it and that is half the fun.

    DhammikaBunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Meditation on the body’s decay

    We are the body's decay meditating :)

    Dhammika
  • I recall a Sri Lankan fellow board member of a Buddhist organization who leapt off a moving farm truck in a field one day and shattered his right foot. He showed up at meetings for the next year, his foot encased in a rigid plastic cast. Smiling, he'd say he just looked at the travails of him and his foot as just a very personal lesson in annica/impermanence. That always stuck with me, especially as I finally coming to terms with the reality of living with some chronic back pain. Thinking of his smiling attitude helps. There are times when I am on the cushion or at my computer and I realize: 'Hey, I have not thought of my back for an hour now! Nice." It is hard not to take impermanence personally, though. Or in Pail speak, anatta reminds you to wise up to the dukkha annica serves up.

    Shoshin
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited August 28

    @Dhammika said:
    I recall a Sri Lankan fellow board member of a Buddhist organization who leapt off a moving farm truck in a field one day and shattered his right foot. He showed up at meetings for the next year, his foot encased in a rigid plastic cast. Smiling, he'd say he just looked at the travails of him and his foot as just a very personal lesson in annica/impermanence.

    Thanks for posting that. I needed to read that after the past few days with my ankle. And mine's temporary.
    🙏🙏🙏

  • 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

    As some will know, I posted something about my own situation a while ago.
    Plan A was shot out of the water, in a very understanding, empathetic and rational way, by the Consultant I met.
    So reversion to plan B means knowing that it's not what happens to my leg that counts. It's what happens within my mental attitude, my mind-set, concerning my leg that counts.
    My leg doesn't define me.
    It may well - and does - affect my mobility, flexibility and ambulation - but that's not who I am.
    There are other avenues open to me, but above all else, more importantly, it's how I square up to it.

    As the little boy delightedly cried to his grandfather,

    "With all this horse-shit everywhere, there MUST be a little pony round here somewhere!"

    BunkslobsterDhammikaKundo
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Respect @federica - you are one tough mudder!

    lobster
  • Blessings and metta on Plan B and may it be Plan B Well, @federica.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Beter plan b than Plan 9 From Outer Space :grin:

  • 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

    @Kerome said:
    Beter plan b than Plan 9 From Outer Space :grin:

    Bin dere, dun dat. Didja not get my postcard?

  • 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

    Thank you guys. <3

    Kerome
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