Have You Come Here to Die?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby FreeThinkingAllowed » Sun May 18, 2014 10:05 pm

This is a beautiful talk by Ajahn Brahm.

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books7/Ajahn_Brahm_Have_you_come_here_to_die.htm

One of the most helpful parts of this talk for me was this quote:
"Think of all this achieving business you have in your meditation, trying to get somewhere. What are you trying to prove? For meditators, so much of the meditation comes from the ‘self’, from the ‘ego’, wanting to crack it, wanting to get the jhànas , wanting to get the magga phala (the fruit of the Eightfold Path). The reason the meditation doesn’t work is because of you, you’re ‘doing’ it. It’s just one more thing you want to achieve in this world. Just an achievement of the ego, another medal you can put on the ego’s chest, that’s all those things are – that’s why it doesn’t work. So why don’t you die to all achievements, die to this self which wants all this stuff, because in the end no one is going to remember you. You’re going to disappear and fade away for ever – so why not do that now."


When I read the line, "Just another medal you can put on your ego's chest", it hit me like a ton of bricks. That's exactly what I was doing while meditating...I write down every time I meditate and the precise amount of time that I meditated and felt so PROUD if I set a personal best for time spent meditating...it was really based more on ego than on letting go.

If you aren't familiar with this site, I highly recommend it. http://www.dhammatalks.net/


BTW, I guess I should cancel my account and get a new handle since Buddhism isn't about free thinking but the point was if I wasn't a free thinker I never would have given Buddhism a chance in the first place.
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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby vinasp » Mon May 19, 2014 6:11 am

Hi FreeThinkingAllowed,

I found it most interesting, so I should thank you for bringing it to my
attention.

I have, for some time, been interested in the concept [and reality] of
"psychological death", and how it relates to the Theravada teachings.

But in my thinking I took this to be a permanent, ireversable transformation,
which can only occur once.

Ajahn Brahm, in this talk, seems to mean a "dieing" which is only temporary,
and can be repeated as often as one wishes.

Such a thing may occur in meditation, but I think that the enlightenment of
the Buddha and Arahants is a "psychological death" of a more permanent kind.

I am interested in what others think about this.

Kind regards, Vincent.
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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon May 19, 2014 6:56 am

Are you sure he didn't say "Have you come here today" with a thick Australian accent, there's a joke about that my mom used to say, the American has trip to the hospital in Australia for a minor ailement, and the nurse says, "Have you come here today", except to him it sounds like "Have you come here to die"!!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 19, 2014 8:18 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Are you sure he didn't say "Have you come here today" with a thick Australian accent,...

Surely you mean a thick London accent... :coffee:

:anjali:
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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby vinasp » Mon May 19, 2014 10:07 am

Hi everyone,

Some quotations on death from a paper by David Loy.

The Nonduality of Life and Death: A Buddhist View of Repression. - link:

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/davloy.htm

Is there any meaning in my life that the inevitable death awaiting me does not destroy? (Tolstoy)

Why was I born, if it wasn't forever? (Ionesco)

Yaksha: What is the greatest wonder in the world?
Yudhisthira: Every day men see others called to their death, yet those who remain live as if they were immortal. (The Mahābhārata)

One can no more look steadily at death than at the sun. (La Rochefoucauld)

All of life is but keeping away the thoughts of death. (Samuel Johnson)

The king is surrounded by persons whose only thought is to divert the king, and to prevent his thinking of self. For he is unhappy, king though he be, if he thinks of himself.
This is all that men have been able to discover to make themselves happy. And those who philosophize on the matter, and who think men unreasonable for spending a whole day in chasing a hare which they would not have bought, scarce know our nature. The hare in itself would not screen us from the sight of death and calamities; but the chase which turns away our attention from these, does screen us. (Pascal)

All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than the animals who know nothing. (Maeterlinck)

Death is easier to bear without thinking of it, than is the thought of death without peril. (Pascal)

He who most resembles the dead is the most reluctant to die. (La Fontaine)

"I had to die to keep from dying." (Common schizophrenic remark)

By avoiding death, men pursue it. (Democritus)

Man has forgotten how to die because he does not know how to live. (Rousseau)

It is true: we love life not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving. (Nietzsche)

History is what man does with death. (Hegel)

Madness is something rare in individuals -- but in groups, parties, people, ages it is the rule. (Nietzsche)

Men are so necessarily mad that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. (Pascal)

The 'struggle for success' becomes such a powerful force because it is the equivalent of self-preservation and self-esteem. (Kardiner)

For life in the present there is no death. Death is not an event in life. It is not a fact in the world. (Wittgenstein)

The artist carries death in him like a good priest his breviary.(Boll)

To live in the face of death is to die unto death. (Kierkegaard)

Art has two constants, two unending concerns: it always meditates on death and thus always creates life. (Pasternak)

Only the man who no longer fears death has ceased to be a slave. (Montaigne)

As long as you do not know how to die and come to life again, you are but a poor guest on this dark earth. (Goethe)

Q: Do not one's actions affect the person in after-births?
A: Are you born now? Why do you think of other births? The fact is that there is neither birth nor death. Let him who is born think of death and palliatives therefor. (Ramana Maharshi)

Just understand that birth-and-death is itself nirvana. There is nothing such as birth and death to be avoided; there is nothing such as nirvana to be sought. Only when you realize this are you free from birth and death. (Dogen)

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon May 19, 2014 10:54 am

Is Ajahn Brahm from London, I just know he lives in Australia, and the joke I was refering to was Australian.....
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 19, 2014 10:59 am

Have you heard him speak? :spy:

:anjali:
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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby Jetavan » Mon May 19, 2014 7:53 pm

FreeThinkingAllowed wrote:BTW, I guess I should cancel my account and get a new handle since Buddhism isn't about free thinking....
:popcorn:
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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby sattva » Wed May 28, 2014 3:32 am

Ajahn Brahm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born
7 August 1951 (age 62)
United Kingdom
Venerable Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera

Website
http://www.ajahnbrahm.org

Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera (known to most as Ajahn Brahm), born Peter Betts[1] in London, United Kingdom[1] on 7 August 1951, is a Theravada Buddhist monk. Currently Brahm is the Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery, in Serpentine, Western Australia, the Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, Spiritual Adviser to the Buddhist Society of Victoria, Spiritual Adviser to the Buddhist Society of South Australia, Spiritual Patron of the Buddhist Fellowship in Singapore, Patron of the Brahm centre in Singapore, and Spiritual Patron of the Bodhikusuma Centre in Sydney.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajahn_Brahm

For some of his talks:
http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/downloads/ ... vamso.html

ps. I think he sounds like the gecko on the Geico commercials.
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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby sattva » Wed May 28, 2014 3:54 am

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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby manas » Wed May 28, 2014 4:07 am

FreeThinkingAllowed wrote:
BTW, I guess I should cancel my account and get a new handle since Buddhism isn't about free thinking but the point was if I wasn't a free thinker I never would have given Buddhism a chance in the first place.


Hi freethinkingallowed,

if you don't mind, what exactly do you mean by "Buddhism isn't about free thinking"? The Buddha himself was a free thinker. If he had not allowed himself to think outside of what was commonly accepted as 'reality', we never would have had the Dhamma.
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Re: Have You Come Here to Die?

Postby Crazy cloud » Wed May 28, 2014 4:54 am

FreeThinkingAllowed wrote:BTW, I guess I should cancel my account and get a new handle since Buddhism isn't about free thinking but the point was if I wasn't a free thinker I never would have given Buddhism a chance in the first place.


Is the name of the one preventing your free mind, the same one that told you that you were free to study the dhamma?

:)
your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh green distances of your blindness
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