Death Meditation (Help)

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
jollybean
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Death Meditation (Help)

Postby jollybean » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:16 am

Hi friends,

How does one do meditation on death?

Are there any instructions on this in the suttas?

What have you found to be most effective regarding meditation on death?

I ask these questions because I'm looking to start spending more time on this again. I remember many years ago when I first learned about buddhism, I started reflecting on death (under no particular instruction) and it had a profound effect on me. This is something I want to explore again, and I seek your help.

Cheers.

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daverupa
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Re: Death Meditation (Help)

Postby daverupa » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:50 pm

Reflect on the fact of it daily, not in the abstract but in a personal way: this very body will die. When it's useful, in my experience, is when this effort shepherds motivation into play, both for perpetual presence of mind as well as for renunciation of sensuality. These become preferable, basically.

It's an applied seeing of anicca, but in this case - as in every case - it's important and useful to balance the contemplation: calm observation, not just observation and not just calm.

I have gained by keying death-mindfulness to feelings of boredom; one can snap out of a mental fog in short order, this way. It's also a great way to pass the time on public transit instead of trying to ray-gun metta into everyone, which can eventually dovetail into a more emanating (exuding? effervescent?) metta practice which enforces equanimity about where metta can land, as it were.

santa100
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Re: Death Meditation (Help)

Postby santa100 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:04 pm

Various sutta references on this subject of contemplation: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#death

Also ven. Gunaratna's great essay on this topic: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el102.html

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bodom
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Re: Death Meditation (Help)

Postby bodom » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:59 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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seeker242
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Re: Death Meditation (Help)

Postby seeker242 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:05 pm

One of the best ways to engage in this kind of contemplation (without a teacher guiding you) IMO is to volunteer at a hospice center. If you really want to see death, you will definitely see it there! And, you also get to help other people in the process. :smile:

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manas
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Death Meditation (Help)

Postby manas » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:38 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Kamran
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Re: Death Meditation (Help)

Postby Kamran » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:14 am

Ven analayo describes the Death Meditation that he teaches in his Tranquility and Insight course which is available online below(lecture 10 or 11?). He uses the breath, and says to imagine that each out breath were your last breath. He does not recommend visualizing the body rotting or looking at pictures of dead bodies as there is a type of enjoyment that can come with this; just to use the breath for a 1/2 hour gets to the point better.

I have been trying this out breath as my last breath meditation, as well as taking walks in a cemetery near my house, and visualizing what it will be like when family members pass away in the not too distant future. So far it has been beneficial. I get a strong sense of inconstancy and impermanence, and it breeds a certain amount of detachment.

http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... es2013.htm
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

jollybean
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Re: Death Meditation (Help)

Postby jollybean » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:51 am


jollybean
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:55 am

Re: Death Meditation (Help)

Postby jollybean » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:08 am


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daverupa
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Re: Death Meditation (Help)

Postby daverupa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:30 pm



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