Memorial sitting

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Memorial sitting

Postby wizi » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:49 pm

One of our senior committee member passed away suddenly during an angioplasty operation that went wrong. We are holding a memoriam for him during our weekly one hour sitting in Goenkaji's tradition.

Would like to ask fellow Vipassana meditators if there is any appropriate Goenkaji chanting or guided meditation apart from metta bhavana that would be suitable for the one hour memorial sitting?
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Re: Memorial sitting

Postby Ben » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:23 pm

Hi wizi
I am sorry to learn of the passing of your trust member.
To my knowledge there is no particular chanting or group-sit recording that is more appropriate in this situation. However, I may be wrong.
I think it wise to contact VRI.
Wishing you the very best,

Ben.
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Re: Memorial sitting

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:36 pm

Greetings Wizi,

I don't know of any such chants, but a recital of the following sutta may be beneficial in terms of highlighting:

- Inevitability and uncertain timing of death
- The benefits of equanimity in response to feelings associated with the death
- The way the event can be used as impetus to strive on

Snp 3.8: Salla Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html

It's quite short, so shouldn't eat into the session too much... but as Ben says, contacting VRI is a good idea - this won't be the first time such a thing has happened, and there may well be a standard process in place.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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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: Memorial sitting

Postby wizi » Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:46 pm

I wrote to our Regional teachers and they have advised in this tradition the most wholesome way to share merits with and pay respect to someone who has died is to meditate and then practice metta. Goenkaji advises against playing any extra chanting in the sitting, or anything else taking place apart from meditation and people practising metta by themselves at the conclusion of the sitting.

Goenkaji cautions against other activities as, over time, such activities will become the focus and initiate Vipassana religious rituals.

That's very sound advice, I must say. Particularly when I think of how monks and their chantings in East Asia have become part of pagan funeral rites and rituals. Thank you all for your advice.
All beings like yourself are responsible for their own actions. Suffering or happiness is created through one's relationship to experience, not by experience itself. Although I wish only the best for you, I know that your happiness or unhappiness depends on your actions, not on my wishes for you.
May you not be caught in reactivity.
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