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To die before one dies

shanyinshanyin Veteran
edited May 2010 in General Banter
Hi all. I've been into Buddhism and spirituality for a while and I have run into this idea: 'dieing before you die'. I heard that a zen master has said some people are just carrying around their corpses, I've heard Indian mystic master Osho call some people walking corpses, I've heard spiritual and dharma teacher Adyashanti talk about the concept of dieing before you die.

I've been reading about spirituality and have run accross this idea many times.

What does it mean to you?

Comments

  • edited May 2010
    to stop the rebirth cycle?

    to give up the identification with the self?

    http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_The_Danger_of_I.htm
  • TheswingisyellowTheswingisyellow Concept with meaning Samsara Veteran
    edited May 2010
    For me it's finding out Who you are, to drop your ideas and concepts of self, to touch that which we obscure with our delusions. To realize this true self before this corpse or bag of bones is in the ground.
    In that same vein here is a poem I am partial to:

    Ironic, but one of the most intimate acts
    of our body is
    death.

    So beautiful appeared my death –
    knowing Who then i would kiss,
    i died a thousand times before i died.

    “Die before you die,” said the Prophet
    Muhammad.

    Have wings that feared ever
    touched the Sun?

    i was born when all I once
    feared - i could
    love.


    - Rabia Basri

    image
  • shanyinshanyin Veteran
    edited May 2010
    See I knew I didn't understand it... the way I viewed it was incredibly negative. But I did however have the thoughts a long time ago that it was a good thing along the lines of what you guys are saying.
  • edited May 2010
    If someone were to simply say "to die before you die", or to be "a walking corpse", I would take it to mean giving up; no longer striving to live, to do good, to affect a better outcome for the future.

    I think what most of us have is only a half-life at best, with eyes partly or completely full of dust; Buddhism teaches us to live before we die. ;) More, it teaches us what life really is, and that there is no birth or death, only change.
  • TheswingisyellowTheswingisyellow Concept with meaning Samsara Veteran
    edited May 2010
    shanyin;104387 said:
    See I knew I didn't understand it... the way I viewed it was incredibly negative. But I did however have the thoughts a long time ago that it was a good thing along the lines of what you guys are saying.
    It's really the kind of "death" I want to experience:D I think alot of what is spoken of such as emptiness and this kind of dying would appear negative from an outside view, it couldn't be farther from the truth. These ideas are so powerful, warm and giving as to be almost beyond description. It is a truely wonderful path with heart, compassion and love.
    Yours in the Dharma,
    Todd
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited May 2010
    shanyin;104377 said:
    Hi all. I've been into Buddhism and spirituality for a while and I have run into this idea: 'dieing before you die'. I heard that a zen master has said some people are just carrying around their corpses, I've heard Indian mystic master Osho call some people walking corpses, I've heard spiritual and dharma teacher Adyashanti talk about the concept of dieing before you die.

    I've been reading about spirituality and have run accross this idea many times.

    What does it mean to you?
    This mini-death is the death of the small-self :- the body, feeling, memories, thoughts and consciousness remain but are completely not regarded as self or belonging to self.

    Nibbana with remainder is the "walking corpse". What remains is what the buddha called old kamma. The final death is parinibbana.
    "Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.145.than.html
    I don't delight in death,
    don't delight in living.
    I await my time
    like a worker his wage.
    I don't delight in death,
    don't delight in living.
    I await my time
    mindful, alert.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/thag/thag.14.01.than.html
  • shanyinshanyin Veteran
    edited May 2010
    I'm glad I started this forum it is interesting.
  • lightwithinlightwithin Veteran
    edited May 2010
    I would imagine that there are different connotations and meanings in each of the different occasions you've heard the phrase.

    To me, being a "walking corpse" holds a completely negative meaning, while saying "die before you die" is trying to teach you somethint positive (I'm not sure what exactly it is). It's not the same thing in both cases.
  • TheswingisyellowTheswingisyellow Concept with meaning Samsara Veteran
    edited May 2010
    lightwithin;104509 said:
    I would imagine that there are different connotations and meanings in each of the different occasions you've heard the phrase.

    To me, being a "walking corpse" holds a completely negative meaning, while saying "die before you die" is trying to teach you somethint positive (I'm not sure what exactly it is). It's not the same thing in both cases.

    A walking corpse, a bag of bones is just that, it's pointing to how we regard this body as self. It is trying to get across the idea that these agrregates, the body included, is not self. A walking corpse is one who hold the idea that this "corpse" is self, is inherently existent. This is dillusion. For this body will one day die, and fall away. Your true mind, your original nature is not this body, it is not this "corpse".
    Yours in the Dharma,
    Todd
  • shanyinshanyin Veteran
    edited May 2010
    lightwithin;104509 said:
    I would imagine that there are different connotations and meanings in each of the different occasions you've heard the phrase.

    To me, being a "walking corpse" holds a completely negative meaning, while saying "die before you die" is trying to teach you somethint positive (I'm not sure what exactly it is). It's not the same thing in both cases.
    I was pondering this and I think you're exactly right. When 'Osho" was talking about these 'walking corpses' he was talking extremely negatively. If you wish to know I believe he was talking about Buddhists and Christians who think about what happened 2000 plus years ago rather than live in the present or someithing like that.

    So again you are correct.
  • edited May 2010
    From an interesting discussion.....

    "Die before you die, so that when you come to die you will not have to die, which means learning how to let go of ourselves and die"
    What are you supposed to let go of, how much and if we let go of all of it, then what is left and what is the point?

    To understand this I believe one has to understand the Buddha's teaching of annata, which is often translated as "no self." Even more important is understanding that what the Buddha taught and what is practiced today as "Buddhism" are not necessarily the same thing.

    It is difficult for many modern Buddhists to accept that what the Buddha taught was totally dependent on meditation. Yes, what was achieved in meditation was meant to be realized in everyday living, but the work first and foremost was done in meditation. Today, the majority I read have "adjusted" things so that Buddhism is a way of life, a set of principles, a way of thinking, etc. rather than a consciousness-altering practice that is developed through meditation. They want it easy . . . to intellectually realize without the work of meditation. Yet even the Buddha himself had to meditate for many years to realize, and he seems to have been gifted.

    If we return to the meditative ideal to consider anatta, then no self is what occurs in the deepest meditation, known as samadhi. The "self" the Buddha was referring to is a false self; sometimes the Buddha called it the "acquired self" because he attributed it to conditioning and what biology does to consciousness. His point was that there is something more basic to experience than the environmental and biologically conditioned self.

    One my favorite quotes of his I've posted here several times is, "“There is, monks, that plane where there is neither extension nor motion. . . there is no coming or going or remaining or deceasing or uprising. . . . There is, monks, an unborn, not become, not made, uncompounded . . . [and] because [that exists] . . . an escape can be shown for what is born, has become, is made, is compounded.”

    To reach this pure experience, that unconditioned plane, the aquired (conditioned) self has to "die." That is exactly what a serious mediation practice does. It allows one (when successful) to repeately experience consciousness without the acquired self; and in that one gradually learns to let the acquired self fade away.

    So to die before one dies refers to achieving annata through meditation.



    More comments can be found at....

    http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/index.php/t-107030.html
  • shanyinshanyin Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Always love another motivation for meditation practice which is stingent in my life.
  • edited May 2010
    this idea: 'dieing before you die' and some people are just carrying around their corpses
    Hi learned audience, this is the masters expediency on teachings to remind its students to treasure the wonderful teachings on one's peace and joy way of living, which unlike those terrorists etc who are akin to carrying around their own body (same as corpse) ignorantly wasting away this meaning short lifespan.
    Hi learned audience, students should not read it that all people who did not embrace or belief in Buddhism teachings are actually corpse living aimlessly.:cool:
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