Insight Meditation - parts of the body

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Insight Meditation - parts of the body

Postby dagon » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:37 am

Insight Meditation – parts of the body, i am having difficulties

I have read this http://www.buddhanet.net/m_part1.htm along with other material and Dhamma talks (thanks Reflection) and it has been very useful to me. The one thing that cause me a problem at this stage in my development relates to where the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw said:

"Thirdly, reflect upon the repulsive nature of the body to assist you in diminishing the unwholesome attachment that so many people have for the body. Dwell on some of its impurities, such as stomach, intestines, phlegm, pus, blood. Ponder on these impurities so that the absurd fondness for the body may be eliminated.

The fourth protection for your psychological benefit is to reflect on the phenomenon of ever-approaching death. Buddhist teachings stress that life is uncertain, but death is certain; life is precarious but death is sure. Life has death as its goal. There is birth, disease, suffering, old age, and eventually, death. These are all aspects of the process of existence."

The problem I find is that it feels too easy because I know this is the truth – as in as night follows day so day will follow night. It is not that I am claiming any development; rather that is the reality that I see every hour of every day that I work. To explain I work in a nursing home and look after elderly people who have high care needs – basically they are living out their last days. Some last a few years, some only a matter of hours but sickness and death come to all of them as it will come to me. While I like to think that I look after the residents with care, compassion and understanding; the degeneration of the body and the pain is something I note, try to mitigate but it does not cause me to be repulsed because I know that the man/woman is not that body, the body is just something that I attend to while looking after the “person”.

Should I just accept that this is the way that it is, am I missing something, should I just omit meditation of the 32 parts of the body.

Sorry about the poor explanation but if anyone can give me any assistance I would be most grateful.
Thanks
paul
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Re: Insight Meditation - parts of the body

Postby reflection » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:26 pm

Hi dagon,

I think an important part of the path is learning about what kind of contemplations are useful for us personally, and at which times. I met a retired pathologist who said "I've contemplated death enough in my life". May very well be true, at least in some ways.

Of course there is a difference between seeing death in others and really feeling and accepting that it will happen to us. You have to see it in yourself. To really accept this is not just knowing that it will happen, but embracing death similar to embracing living. For this contemplation may also help.

But there is not a rigid structure to meditation. I do what I think is useful at the time. Perhaps experiment sometimes, or come back to it later, but I wouldn't continue doing anything just for the sake of it while it doesn't draw you or doesn't change your state of mind.

:anjali:
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Re: Insight Meditation - parts of the body

Postby pegembara » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:10 am

The problem I find is that it feels too easy because I know this is the truth – as in as night follows day so day will follow night. It is not that I am claiming any development; rather that is the reality that I see every hour of every day that I work. To explain I work in a nursing home and look after elderly people who have high care needs – basically they are living out their last days. Some last a few years, some only a matter of hours but sickness and death come to all of them as it will come to me. While I like to think that I look after the residents with care, compassion and understanding; the degeneration of the body and the pain is something I note, try to mitigate but it does not cause me to be repulsed because I know that the man/woman is not that body, the body is just something that I attend to while looking after the “person”.


This watching the the process of birth and death on a gross level. Basically contemplating on death and impermanence. The next level is to observe impermanence from moment to moment until a kind of release happens.

The Blessed One said, "Mindfulness of death, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit & great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end. Therefore you should develop mindfulness of death."

When this was said, a certain monk addressed the Blessed One, "I already develop mindfulness of death."



"But whoever develops mindfulness of death, thinking, 'O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up one morsel of food... for the interval that it takes to breathe out after breathing in, or to breathe in after breathing out, that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal' — they are said to dwell heedfully. They develop mindfulness of death acutely for the sake of ending the effluents.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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