what to do when i'm dying?

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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby santa100 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:46 pm

It's important to practice now since one'd want to make sure their "tree" is leaning toward the right direction..
Suppose a tree were leaning toward the east, slanting toward the east, inclining toward the east. When its root is cut, which way would it fall?"

"In whichever way it was leaning, slanting, and inclining, lord."

"In the same way, Mahanama, a disciple of the noble ones, when endowed with four qualities, leans toward Unbinding, slants toward Unbinding, inclines toward Unbinding. ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby pegembara » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:41 am

Practise hard before it is too late!

The way people think is that having been born, they don't want to die. Is that correct? It's like pouring water into a glass but not wanting it to fill up. If you keep pouring the water, you can't expect it not to be full. But people think like this: they are born but don't want to die. Is that correct thinking? Consider it. If people are born but never die, will that bring happiness? If no one who comes into the world dies, things will be a lot worse. If no one ever dies, we will probably all end up eating excrement! Where would we all stay? It's like pouring water into the glass without ceasing yet still not wanting it to be full. We really ought to think things through. We are born but don't want to die. If we really don't want to die, we should realize the deathless (amatadhamma), as the Buddha taught. Do you know what amatadhamma means?

It is the deathless - though you die, if you have wisdom it is as if you don't die. Not dying, not being born. That's where things can be finished. Being born and wishing for happiness and enjoyment without dying is not the correct way at all. But that's what people want, so there is no end of suffering for them. The practitioner of Dhamma does not suffer. Well, practitioners such as ordinary monks still suffer, because they haven't yet fulfilled the path of practice. They haven't realized amatadhamma, so they still suffer. They are still subject to death.

Amatadhamma is the deathless. Born of the womb, can we avoid death? Apart from realizing that there is no real self, there is no way to avoid death. ''I'' don't die; sankhāras undergo transformation, following their nature.

If you were to violate the law of the land and be sentenced to death, you would certainly be most distressed. Meditation on death is recollecting that death is going to take us and that it could be very soon. But you don't think about it, so you feel you are living comfortably. If you do think about it, it will cause you to have devotion to the practice of Dhamma. So the Buddha taught us to practice the recollection of death regularly. Those who don't recollect it live with fear. They don't know themselves. But if you do recollect and are aware of yourself, it will lead you to want to practise Dhamma seriously and escape from this danger.

If you are aware of this death sentence, you will want to find a solution. Generally, people don't like to hear such talk. Doesn't that mean they are far from the true Dhamma? The Buddha urged us to recollect death, but people get upset by such talk. That's the kamma of beings. They do have some knowledge of this fact, but the knowledge isn't yet clear.

Ajahn Chah



See also http://www.sanbo-zen.org/artikel-2_d.html


'Open are the doors to the Deathless
to those with ears.
Let them show their conviction.
Perceiving trouble, O Brahma,
I did not tell people
the refined,
sublime Dhamma.'



Ariyapariyesana Sutta MN26
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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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby alan... » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:45 pm

danieLion wrote:
alan... wrote:
danieLion wrote:it depends on what you're dying from; if it's associated with respiratory complications (as in my case) breathe meditation is not practical, but I could see it being very helpful with, say dying of some kinds ofcancer; i was too sick to have much thought, let alone discursive thought, and in the moments I was well enough to think, it was clear that discursive thought would only lead to anxiety and distress; it came down to self awareness via sati and uppekha and other awareness via sila (morality)/treating those around me with compassion and empathy and controlling my desires to blame them (or anything) for what was happening to me.


so you lived it recently, wow. your advice is extremely literal then. thanks very much for sharing.

:anjali:
I'm like 95% out of the woods as of yesterday/today. But it was serious (there was a carbon-monoxide incident when I was around 20 but I was not a Buddhist then and way too of it to do much of anything). I didn't mind the possiblity of dying so much as what my absence would do to my friends and family. I contacted anyone I could think of I might of had even a little conflict with and tried to resolve them and it was usually just as easy as saying, "I love you." Amazing, those three words. I had the luxury of being assaulted and accosted by dozens of medical professionals to buy me some time to do that, so I don't have a lot of advice for more sudden brushes with death except what I said above. But that just goes to Tilt's point about immediacy. Many of us will die with no warning, so it behooves us to be diligent (nor perfectionistic, though) about how we treat ourselves and others at all times. I'm warming up to rebirth, and if it's real, I think one of it's most important aspects is showing us that how we die is deeply important to how we live again.



i'm really glad to hear you're okay! beautiful thoughts, clearing things up with people feels so good when it goes that way.
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby alan... » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:46 pm

jackson wrote:Greetings Alan,
There's a saying, "die before you die", which is a helpful reminder that we should practice now to liberate the mind, so when death comes there's no clinging to the mind and body as I, me, or mine. Something which I've found to be extremely beneficial is the frequent recollection of death, which gives a great sense of urgency, and also to cultivate the sense of "I am dying" instead of looking at death as something off in the future. We were born, so now we're going to die, we are on our way towards death so we are dying in this very moment. Not trying to be bleak, just realistic. :smile:
Best wishes, :anjali:


for sure. that's one of my favorite sayings!
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby alan... » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:53 pm

santa100 wrote:It's important to practice now since one'd want to make sure their "tree" is leaning toward the right direction..
Suppose a tree were leaning toward the east, slanting toward the east, inclining toward the east. When its root is cut, which way would it fall?"

"In whichever way it was leaning, slanting, and inclining, lord."

"In the same way, Mahanama, a disciple of the noble ones, when endowed with four qualities, leans toward Unbinding, slants toward Unbinding, inclines toward Unbinding. ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )


i often see a lot of positive thoughts about death relating to practitioners of the dhamma in the suttas, actually more frequently than i see ones that are like "if you die you go to hell! become enlightened now!" or "tell one lie, even a small one, 1,000,000,000 years in hell! even if you're 99% perfect other than that!" or something similarly harsh. it makes me happy, being that i strive diligently to be moral, concentrated, and i try to cultivate wisdom, it would be rough if it were otherwise. we are all human and enlightenment is hard to reach, so when the suttas teach that one can be reborn in a good destination or one that is conducive to dhamma practice simply by trying hard and practicing diligently it is refreshing and reassuring. in fact many suttas teach that even simply keeping the five precepts and nothing else will keep on in good rebirths, although not necessarily dhamma conducive ones, but nonetheless it's pretty reasonable.
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby manas » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:53 pm

danieLion wrote:...
i just got out of the hospital with a condition associated with high incidents of fatality and Tilt is right: what you do NOW is directly proportional to how you deal with facing death LATER; when i feared, it was horrible and made more dukkha; when i was mindful and equanimous, it was at least bearable, mostly peaceful, and better for those around me; the latter mind-states would not have been possible without previous Efforts.

:goodpost:

We must prepare NOW, because old age & death are steadily approaching; whether we like it or not, and whether we are ready for them, or not.

metta

:anjali:
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby danieLion » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:07 am

danieLion wrote:it depends on what you're dying from; if it's associated with respiratory complications (as in my case) breathe meditation is not practical, but I could see it being very helpful with, say dying of some kinds ofcancer; i was too sick to have much thought, let alone discursive thought, and in the moments I was well enough to think, it was clear that discursive thought would only lead to anxiety and distress; it came down to self awareness via sati and uppekha and other awareness via sila (morality)/treating those around me with compassion and empathy and controlling my desires to blame them (or anything) for what was happening to me.


alan... wrote:so you lived it recently, wow. your advice is extremely literal then. thanks very much for sharing.

:anjali:
danieLion wrote:I'm like 95% out of the woods as of yesterday/today. But it was serious (there was a carbon-monoxide incident when I was around 20 but I was not a Buddhist then and way too of it to do much of anything). I didn't mind the possiblity of dying so much as what my absence would do to my friends and family. I contacted anyone I could think of I might of had even a little conflict with and tried to resolve them and it was usually just as easy as saying, "I love you." Amazing, those three words. I had the luxury of being assaulted and accosted by dozens of medical professionals to buy me some time to do that, so I don't have a lot of advice for more sudden brushes with death except what I said above. But that just goes to Tilt's point about immediacy. Many of us will die with no warning, so it behooves us to be diligent (nor perfectionistic, though) about how we treat ourselves and others at all times. I'm warming up to rebirth, and if it's real, I think one of it's most important aspects is showing us that how we die is deeply important to how we live again.


alan... wrote:i'm really glad to hear you're okay! beautiful thoughts, clearing things up with people feels so good when it goes that way.

Thanks. I wish you goodwill and health.
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby danieLion » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:08 am

manas wrote:
danieLion wrote:...
i just got out of the hospital with a condition associated with high incidents of fatality and Tilt is right: what you do NOW is directly proportional to how you deal with facing death LATER; when i feared, it was horrible and made more dukkha; when i was mindful and equanimous, it was at least bearable, mostly peaceful, and better for those around me; the latter mind-states would not have been possible without previous Efforts.

:goodpost:

We must prepare NOW, because old age & death are steadily approaching; whether we like it or not, and whether we are ready for them, or not.

metta

:anjali:

Thanks manas. I wish you goowill and health.
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby Kamran » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:26 am

In the below talk Bikhu Analayo, the author of the great Satipatthana book, mentions that he visualizes his own death right before he goes to sleep every night.

Inspired by Analayo, I have been experimenting with visualizing my last moments, as well as meditating in a cemetery by my house. Surprisingly, this seemingly morbid practice has caused me to feel strong mudita (appreciative joy) for all of us that get to experience a human life.

Below is my understanding of the typical last few days of life:

1)You begin to withdraw from others.
2)You are usually sleeping, or unconscious.
3) Then your muscles relax and you become incontinent.
4)Then your nails, and lips turn blue and face becomes sunken;
5) Liquids build up in your throat and lungs causing your breathing to sound gargled, otherwise knows as the "death rattle".
6) Your breathing slows down to one breath every 30 seconds or so for a little while, and finally you take your last breath and peacefully let go.

Analayo talk:
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/439/talk/14214/
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby manas » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:25 am

Kamran wrote:In the below talk ...Analayo talk:
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/439/talk/14214/


Hi kamran,

where exactly on that page that opens, is the specific talk you refer to, please? I'm having trouble finding it. :?:

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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby Nyorai » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:06 am

you may refer abhidhamma piṭaka for the answer :anjali:
ImageTo become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.
If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self.Image
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby Kamran » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:23 am

Hi Manas,

The talk is not specifically about his practice, but he mentions it, including death meditation, towards the beginning of the talk titled :

2011-10-16 Mindfulness According to Early Buddhist Sources
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/439/

I thought it was interesting that he uses body part meditation in the morning sensing into his skin, then flesh, then bones. He also uses metta during the day, since he is an anger type who had serious anger issues before becoming a monk. Its a different type of metta, however, where you don't use discursive thought, or phrases but rather create a benevolent feeling and then stay focused on the feeling itself.
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby alan... » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:39 am

Kamran wrote:In the below talk Bikhu Analayo, the author of the great Satipatthana book, mentions that he visualizes his own death right before he goes to sleep every night.

Inspired by Analayo, I have been experimenting with visualizing my last moments, as well as meditating in a cemetery by my house. Surprisingly, this seemingly morbid practice has caused me to feel strong mudita (appreciative joy) for all of us that get to experience a human life.

Below is my understanding of the typical last few days of life:

1)You begin to withdraw from others.
2)You are usually sleeping, or unconscious.
3) Then your muscles relax and you become incontinent.
4)Then your nails, and lips turn blue and face becomes sunken;
5) Liquids build up in your throat and lungs causing your breathing to sound gargled, otherwise knows as the "death rattle".
6) Your breathing slows down to one breath every 30 seconds or so for a little while, and finally you take your last breath and peacefully let go.

Analayo talk:
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/439/talk/14214/


makes sense. it's one of the ascetic practices allowed by the buddha, living in a cemetery that is. and contemplation of death is found in many places in the tipitaka. thanks for sharing. perhaps i will start visualizing my own death before bed too!
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Re: what to do when i'm dying?

Postby manas » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:19 am

Kamran wrote:Hi Manas,

The talk is not specifically about his practice, but he mentions it, including death meditation, towards the beginning of the talk titled :

2011-10-16 Mindfulness According to Early Buddhist Sources
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/439/

I thought it was interesting that he uses body part meditation in the morning sensing into his skin, then flesh, then bones. He also uses metta during the day, since he is an anger type who had serious anger issues before becoming a monk. Its a different type of metta, however, where you don't use discursive thought, or phrases but rather create a benevolent feeling and then stay focused on the feeling itself.


Ah, I get it now. Thanks

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