Discussion of general East-Asian Mahayana Buddhism, Sutras & Shastras.
i was on facebook and saw somebody's page with a dedication to someone recently deceased, the person is from the same city as myself and in the inevitability of my own death i will be buried/cremated in the same cemetery.
it got me to thinking about what is truly valuable in this life and we can all agree its the Dharma. do any of you guys meditate on death etc and what do you think will bring you the greatest comfort when you die? all we have is what is in our minds and if we have purified, meditated and developed any level of Bodhichitta this will help us, but from what i understand people lose it completely at death and its very easy to develop angry and negative minds which lead to unpleasent rebirth.
This is what i have read. But i have no ide.
People loose everythig in death. But by the power of unsubdude mind and karma we (ordinary pepel like my and you, i guess) can not stay in thet "state" for long so we tanke rebirth agen and agen...And what we cultivate in this life is brought whid us as bagage. Like a packpack, and we cary it around. So we stay whid all ouer stuff and things. No escaping ing ´em.
Voyager -- Everyone meditates on death. This is because they meditate on what is alive and compelling. It may sound spooky or pessimistic (in the Dhammapada, Gautama was reported to have said, "All fear dying./All fear death."), but really, the more you investigate this moment, this life, the more natural it becomes ... this moment is gone (or dead, if you like) before anyone can get a handle on it. Simultaneously, of course, something new is born. Every moment is like this ... it's just up to us to bring our minds into accord with what happens all the time.
Intellectually or emotionally, this is easier said than done. But in practice, it happens without any real effort ... just like birth, just like death: Things begin (so to speak) and they end (so to speak). Emotion and intellect can never comprehend or be at ease with this flow, but Zen students can.
Just my take.
Things just arise and pass away, life and death are just human concepts, words.
If something appears we create life, if something disappears we create death [by thought]
Whatever appears is mind, the thought "death" is an appearance, we just call it disappearance
whilst if it truly was a disappearance the notion of death couldn't arise, thus appear.
[if both appearance and disappearance disappear, the stillness is bliss]
Hence I do not find contemplation on life or death [as concepts/actuality] skillfull,
observing the mind is sufficient, the moment you say 'life' and the moment you say 'death'
you have seperated yourself from your true essence.
If life and death are just communitative words in everyday life, then there's no problemo. [practise wise]
all appearance is delusion if you mark it as such, otherwise it is liberated into its own condition.
Arising without the mark of arising,
Arising and illumination are the same.
Using the mind to maintain quietude,
Birth and death forgotten;
This is original nature.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
Death is a great spur.
I was reading some teaching letters from ZM Seung Sahn to various students over the years and in one letter his reply was just this:
WHAT ARE YOU?
TOMORROW YOU WILL DIE.
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
What would you do if you knew you were going to die tomorrow?
Good luck and thanks for practicing,
You make, you get
New Haven Zen Center
People Do Not Die
Speaker: Yamada Ryoun Roshi
Recorded at Upaya Zen Center: Wednesday May 5, 2010
Yamada Ryoun Roshi opens by sharing experiences that led to discovering his “true self.” Roshi then speaks about the Buddha, emphasizing that it was not until the Buddha began “only sitting,” that he reached Enlightenment. Roshi continues with a discussion of how scientific findings appear to be consistent with Buddhist teachings. Roshi closes with his perspective on the mission of Zen practice, and how this relates to the idea that people do not die.
Practitioners who cultivate the personal realization of buddha knowledge dwell in the bliss of whatever is present and do not abandon their practice.
Kyudo Roshi once said that he hoped it rained on the day of his funeral, so that the people who were only interested in a nice outing and some cake would stay home. Don't know if his wish came true or not.
Death is always a "future event." No one ever experiences it. So who cares if it rains or not, that day?
The big thing we have to deal with is loss. It all slips through our fingers. The tighter we try to hold onto this slippery life, the more it seems to get away.
Get past that, and death is no big deal.
Cake, on the other hand, is a big deal.
Practices for Living and Dying
Things which matter most
must never be at the mercy of
things which matter least.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I don’t know about death because I am among the living. Ah! I know something about death because I am among the living. As I awaken to the wholeness of life, I turn toward what matters most. When I imagine what my last words might be, I am brought back to what matters most in life as the cycle completes itself.
It has been said that we die the way we are born. Imagine the blessings that come with each birth. Imagine each being brought into this world blessed with life, each mountain meadow blessed with early morning dew born into the midday sun, each moment born into the next moment. Birth also blesses us with teachings about the cycle of life and death. Birth contains the essence of freshness and purity, of unlimited possibility, of the true ground of being as well as it’s own eventual end.
Like fine French wine which reveals - through its taste - the essence of the soil where it was grown and the quality of the sunlight in the vineyard, we may sense the mystery that reveals our origins. Death is each moment yielding to the next, each drop of rain yielding to the next, each sunrise yielding to each sunset. Just as each moment is blessed with the potential for another birth, each life yields to the next in an endless cycle of love and blessing. Death reminds us of our origins as a natural part of the cycle just as life reminds us of our origins. So each moment is a fresh ground of living and dying dissolving back into the unknown.
Life and death bring us closer to our own authentic ground of being and closer to what matters most. In right relationship to life and death, we embody what matters most - so practice with all your heart and soul. Practice being aware in every moment of the beauty, blessing, tragedy and terror in life and death. As Rilke says, “…for beauty’s nothing but the beginning of terror we’re still just able to bear…”.
Practice knowing that it’s not what you think. We think we know and we know we think; meanwhile beauty is all around us, unnoticed by our own certainty. Can we see the beauty and blessing in everything that life and death have to offer? The dirty dishes in the kitchen aren’t what we think; they’re a sign of a well-lived life. The hurt feelings aren’t what we think; they’re a sign of a small place in need of expansive love.
Practice wisdom sensing the vast dimension of the source of our being where certainty doesn’t exist. My third grade teacher opened me to a perspective which has stayed with me all my life, though I have forgotten it many times.. She pointed out the window to a baseball game and asked, “If the Martians came from space, how would they explain this event?” Wisdom comes in the most ordinary way to grace us with innate peace and knowing far beyond our thinking dimension.
Practice living the title of your first book. Everyone is a book waiting to be written. The current title of my book is “It’s Okay Sweetheart”, a tale of agony and ecstasy with a surprise ending (it’s not what I thought). It opens my heart to the wonder of relationship of the good, the bad and the ugly in my life; and I feel all’s right with the world.
Live your life as if it were a book containing a large dose of gratitude mingled with the agony and the ecstasy of your life. Like all good novels, every nuance and twist and turn in life weaves the fabric of a life wholly and uniquely ours. Practice feeling the grace of realizing that our humanity is more precious than perfection. Our humanity is perfection as it is and reminds us of the wholeness of our being. Practice feeling inspiration, be aware of what opens your heart and inspires your soul; for this is the natural blessing and liberation arising from the depths of your own being.
Practice your last words. Practice what you would say just before the moment of your death. My last words with gratitude, “there was no other way”, embody for me the absolute surrender and acceptance of the totality of my life and death. Those same words bring me closer to my true aliveness.
Gently remind yourself of the depth of your being and greet your joys and pains with the same hospitality you would offer to the stranger at the door. Remember the inspiration of a lifetime that’s been forgotten and let it infuse your being with a sense of the sweetness in both living and dying.
As a high school student, I was moved by General McArthur’s credo Live with Enthusiasm and I carry it in my wallet to this day frayed and torn like a well-lived life. In part, it says, “so long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage and grandeur and power from the earth, from man and from the Infinite, so long are you young.”
Practice your last words as if you would live forever with enthusiasm and gratitude.
At the eleventh hour there is surrender
there is the door waiting only for you to walk through
will you love to live again
Beloved at the abyss, to love and be loved.
Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
May 28, 1996
NOTE: In 1997, my friend, Richard Robinson, asked me to write a piece for his book entitled: Holding Another’s Hand, Facing the Transition called Death. It was a labor of Love for him since he had mid-wifed so many people with AIDS into death. It took me over 3 years to be ready to write it, and fortunately, it took him longer to self-publish the book which is an anthology of articles written by a wide cross-section of people. This is my contribution to his book. What I love is that the first line, “there was no other way”, came in while driving home from my first visit to a sesshin teisho at my new sangha at the time in 2000. Little did I know how prophetic that would be.
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
I cannot imagine disagreeing with anything more than with the above statement.
Why such disagreement? There is no matter more essential than this matter.
Who experiences it, RTTS? If you die, there's no "you" to "die." The cessation of experience is not an "experience."
Nobody is suggesting that there is anything inessential about this. I suspect that you misread or misunderstood what I was saying.
I'll stand by what I said about "loss" being the problem. The sense that we "own" life - that something "belongs to us," indeed that we are - is at the heart of the "matter."
Experience is not a continuum. All things arise and die away.
I realize that we have a different perspective on Dependent Origination, but surely you see that this arising and falling away is the nature of conditioned mind.
What does this have to do with anything?
If the mind has not experience death, it has not experience much (if anything of spiritual significance).
You're welcome to "spiritual significance."
Not much on Rebirth, are you?
No much on "dying before dying", are you?
I read the following post elsewhere:
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