Viewing images of Corpses online

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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:21 pm

Annapurna wrote:
It didn't lose any of it's beauty, nor form, nor did it stink. When I finally decided I would take it to rest in a quiet place, it was light. It had become a mummy.
Likely all its guts and muscles were quickly eaten by maggots, beetles, and the like under the cover of its feathers, leaving a shell of bones, inedible connective tissue and feathers. Next time a cow dies in your yard, leave that there for a week or two.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:23 pm

:jawdrop:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:19 pm

jcsuperstar wrote: many Thai people also forward photos of dead bodies from all sorts of sources, once while staying at the temple before i was married my future wife was looking at some rather grotesque corpse photos that other Thai people i knew had passed around, i was kinda grossed out by them but she just looked at me and said "it's just anicca"... i was amazed.


Differences between cultures and "religions", imo.

In my culture, death is considered a private affair, just like sex and other things that aren't usually at display.
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:27 pm

Ben wrote:
Annapurna wrote:Why would we have to stare at human bodies to realize things about nature we know since we're small.

Its a different type of knowledge, Anna. When we engage in practice, we develop nana: knowledge/insight. Its the wisdom that arises from directly penetrating the nature of nama and rupa: bhavana-maya-panna.
Contemplation of death was praised by the Buddha, and in the Satipatthana Sutta, he gives instructions for the contemplation of a corpse in its different states of decay. It is a powerful and profound technique that can precipitate awakening.
Having said that, my impression is that it is not for everyone.
Metta

Ben


Hello, Ben,

as I already pointed out in my PM to you, I know the Buddha recommended the contemplation of death and of corpses. I have done it many times, (as I already mentioned), I think even as young as a child. You see, I came to parents who had lost their second son in a heartbreaking accident, leaving both them and my older brother behind in deepest sadness. When I came, it changed...but I knew the source of their sorrow. I felt greatly responsible for those 2 people, and felt like "bringing sunshine", and being cautious with my life. :smile:

So death was an early contemplation.

That said, what I am truly concerned about is not me, -aversion or fear-, which should be clear to anybody who read and understood my first post here. But I agree that many people will have issues with death and corpses.

My concern is this:

I feel uncomfortable with images of dead people if I am not sure they haven given their permission to use this photo, nor their families.

In the internet, you are not allowed to download or use the property of others without permission.

Another concern is, that death is often a time of great stress, pain and suffering. People who die in a car accident are sometimes not dead on the spot, but will scream and wail and cry for help until it is over.

I have witnessed car accidents and I know how incredibly they can suffer.

How can anybody use this photo for his own gain? It sits wrong with me, but if that's what people want, who am I to say they shouldn't.

I have been hurt in 2 accidents myself, and would have been very upset if my photos had been published and displayed without my permission. This is my privacy, and in my land we respect that, (largely).

Our media here self-restrict themselves when they show victims of catastrophes to protect privacy. You will see a crashed car, but rarely badly injured or bodies. This is not koscher in my land. Not because we are too weak to face death, but because of privacy.

I am against anything that could violate those rights, the privacy and dignity of dead or alive people and I feel using their images is. If that is not understood, I can't explain it. Then we will have to agree to disagree.

If somebody wants to contemplate decay, why is it not sufficient to buy a slice of above mentioned cow and let it rot in your bed and take a good sniff? Wouldn't that be brave? Why only meditate about it and go home to a perfumed bed?

How about doing charity work and help cleaning the stinking wounds of a cancer patient, how about that?

Anybody done that? I have. Tell ME about death.

Another facet is, here in my land:

Disturbing the peace of the dead is a felony here.

As much as it is a felony to watch others copulating without their permission, it is a felony not to bury or burn somebody according to the laws, to have him in public view as this master would be illegal, unless they agreed to give their body to science or crime science.

Summary: If a permission is given, fine, but if not, I'm concerned.

For all those who want to look at bodies, I can recommend http://www.rotten.com.

It's a page German Google removes due to legal aspects.

I gotta go work, don't know if I will be back anytime soon.
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby bodom » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:54 pm

Hi Ben

Thanks for the link to Anatomy for Beginners. It is excellent. Very educational and a good source for those who want to use the images for contemplation of the unattractive nature of the body.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:01 pm

Interesting reactions in this thread .....

I have worked with women who lost their baby during the process of childbirth. Some react with dosa and want the corpse taken away immediately and collected by the funeral director. But some want to stay in the birth suites for a few days, holding the little one, while relatives come to be with them both. Sometimes the body is refrigerated overnight, and returned at the mothers' request when she awakens. Over a few days, the little one changes colour, darkening perceptibly, and the odour arising becomes stronger. All of this, seems to ease the grief of the mother and relatives - and, after a couple of days, she is able to let go of the intense feelings surrounding the death and be more peaceful. Here, this is more so with families of South Pacific origin rather than European. Those of the Moslem faith, of course, have strict rules about burial before sunset.

I think it depends on the fear and attachment of the people involved, or their view of the world educated by their religion, as well as their religious communitys' understanding of what 'life' and 'beings' actually are.

with metta
Chris
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:59 pm

Those of the Moslem faith, of course, have strict rules about burial before sunset.


They make sense too.

In very hot climate, without cooling facilities, bodies decompose rapidly.

A lot of Muslim rules are rooted in hygienic knowledge, although it may not be declared as the reason.
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby octathlon » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:43 pm

When I was about 18, I took an anatomy class and in the lab section we had human cadavers. The medical students dissected them during their lab, and in my lab we just observed them and learned all the parts. I remember contemplating the cadavers, seeing them from both the perspective of marveling at the structure of the body, but also imagining how these bodies once walked, talked, thought, loved, etc. and of course how this would also be my end on day, which did not disturb me. It was a valuable experience in many ways. But I remember thinking that I wouldn't want to have my body donated for this purpose. :lol:
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:57 pm

Greetings,

Relevant extract from...

MN 10: Satipatthana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

... on the use of death in mental cultivation.

"Furthermore, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground — one day, two days, three days dead — bloated, livid, & festering, he applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate'...

"Or again, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground, picked at by crows, vultures, & hawks, by dogs, hyenas, & various other creatures... a skeleton smeared with flesh & blood, connected with tendons... a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected with tendons... a skeleton without flesh or blood, connected with tendons... bones detached from their tendons, scattered in all directions — here a hand bone, there a foot bone, here a shin bone, there a thigh bone, here a hip bone, there a back bone, here a rib, there a breast bone, here a shoulder bone, there a neck bone, here a jaw bone, there a tooth, here a skull... the bones whitened, somewhat like the color of shells... piled up, more than a year old... decomposed into a powder: He applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:14 pm

seems like there is some taking the body as the self going on in a lot of the aversion to these practices. i wouldn't want my body used like that etc. as if there is some you or him or she that is that lifeless body being looked at. why is there not the same aversion to being seen by others walking down the street? they are seeing and using your body in anyway they choose and you have no control over it. and when dealing with a dead body you are no longer dealing with a person, in any way, they feel no pain , no embarrassment.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby octathlon » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:19 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:seems like there is some taking the body as the self going on in a lot of the aversion to these practices. i wouldn't want my body used like that etc. as if there is some you or him or she that is that lifeless body being looked at. why is there not the same aversion to being seen by others walking down the street? they are seeing and using your body in anyway they choose and you have no control over it. and when dealing with a dead body you are no longer dealing with a person, in any way, they feel no pain , no embarrassment.


In my case that was over 30 years ago that I thought that (not wanting *my* body used like that). Nowadays I wouldn't mind if they do. I would especially like it if they could learn something that would help cure a disease, but even just helping train doctors to learn anatomy is also OK. :smile:
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:30 pm

I'm not saying i don't have similar issues, we all do until we're at least a sotapanna i think, but i think it helps to see these things for what they are instead of lashing out at others
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby Monkey Mind » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:47 am

I saw this exhibit when it was in town: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_Worlds
Although "sanitary", i.e. nothing was oozing or rotting, it was effective for the purposes of charnel ground contemplation.

As a result of my visit to the exhibit, I have chosen to donate my corpse to be a cadaver for medical studies upon death.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:17 am

jcsuperstar wrote:seems like there is some taking the body as the self going on in a lot of the aversion to these practices. i wouldn't want my body used like that etc. as if there is some you or him or she that is that lifeless body being looked at. why is there not the same aversion to being seen by others walking down the street? they are seeing and using your body in anyway they choose and you have no control over it. and when dealing with a dead body you are no longer dealing with a person, in any way, they feel no pain , no embarrassment.


Just in case you are referring to me when you talk about aversion, and just to make it 100 % clear:

I am far from feeling aversion against corpses, but all against an insensitive or illegal use of graphic images, hurting the feelings of loved ones, if they happen to come across an image when they least expect it. Imagine their pain!

As a Buddhist, I have an obligation to avoid harm to others.

A photo can be the photo of a stranger to us, but a photo of a loved one to others, and cause hurt. Not all are Buddhists and can shrug it off as annica and what not.

Let's perhaps also assume noble intentions, such as respect and compassion, before we assume defilements in others, such as aversion or harmful intentions- is that a good idea?

I'm also for anatomy studies, if that 's what one wishes to do. Go for it, by all means.

I happen to not need that, I've been confronted with death and illness a lot, and am dealing with it because of my job.

But I understand very well that it is a helpful method. Been there, done that, and basically still do it.

For me it is more a compassion practice, but I'm sure it works against lust too.

Bodom, , I don't know if you read my reply, where I recommended hard work to reduce lusting.

Another method is fasting.

A friend of mine uses fasting twice a week to reduce the sex drive.

He won't eat and drink from morning til evening. Says it works.

Being hungry and thirsty all day and suffering due to that doesn't allow sexual thoughts to arise as much as usually.

I also think that a general progress in practice will have desires falling away...

Wishing you good progress. :anjali:
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:40 am

interesting i've fasted many times, sometimes for long periods and it never did anything to diminish my sex drive.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:43 am

Annapurna wrote:
I am far from feeling aversion against corpses, but all against an insensitive or illegal use of graphic images, hurting the feelings of loved ones, if they happen to come across an image when they least expect it. Imagine their pain!

:

or it could be an awakening experience? i don't claim to know the minds of others though.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:01 am

jcsuperstar wrote:
Annapurna wrote:
I am far from feeling aversion against corpses, but all against an insensitive or illegal use of graphic images, hurting the feelings of loved ones, if they happen to come across an image when they least expect it. Imagine their pain!

:

or it could be an awakening experience? i don't claim to know the minds of others though.

Quite so, just as it was for the Buddha to be.
Our bodies are not" us "and they are not "ours."
The bodies of loved ones are not them and are not theirs or ours.
There are many stories of the particularly powerful effect that cemetery contemplation can have particularly when the subject is known, And of those who turn to Dhamma because of the death of loved ones, which brings them face to face with anicca. Identification with the body whether ours or others is a primary cause of being stuck in the conditioned realm. That is precisely why the Buddha prescribed cemetery contemplations as a way of weakening the identification with rupa. our own form or anyone else's.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby cooran » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:02 am

Hello all,

10 Asubhas (Objects of Impurity):

The ten objects of impurity are various sorts of corpses. Meditating on corpses is useful is reducing lust. This practice should only be followed under the guidance of a teacher.
Below is a list of the asubhas and who will find them useful.

Swollen Corpse: Those who lust after beauty of form.

Discolored Corpse: Those who lust after beauty of the skin and complexion.

Festering Corpse: Those who lust after a sweet-smelling body, using perfumes.

Fissured Corpse: Those who lust after the firmness and solidity of the body.

Mangled Corpse: Those who lust after fulness of the flesh, such as the breasts.

Dismembered Corpse: Those who lust after graceful movements of the body.

Cut & Dismembered Corpse: Those who lust after perfection of the joints of the body.

Blood-stained Corpse: Those who lust after beauty produced by adornments.

Worm-infested Corpse: Those who are attached to the idea that the body is "me" or "mine."

Skeleton: Those who lust after perfection of the teeth and nails.


with metta and karuna,
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:09 am

The point about instruction is vital I think Cooran. I don't think this kind of practice should happen in any context other than a balanced approach to practises under the supervision of an experienced meditation teacher.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Viewing images of Corpses online

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:39 am

jcsuperstar wrote:interesting i've fasted many times, sometimes for long periods and it never did anything to diminish my sex drive.


That doesn't mean it's not true for others.
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