Author Topic: Death.  (Read 2439 times)

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Death.
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2016, 03:43:29 am »
I have this terrible fear of death. I suffer from bi-polar disorder and have high anxiety. From a Buddhist point of view I should and do meditate on the subject of death. Actually let's call it ego death. So through the Dharma and meditation. I have been trying to slowly chip away at my ego and fear. I am making some progress, but it's terribly slow. I post this here in the hope of some advice or tips.

The most powerful visualization that may help here is the one where you imagine nirvana to be everything. When you attain consciousness as a human being, you lose this oneness and think that you are a separate being, set apart from nirvana. In a way, this is a form of death and causes the arising of suffering. The good news is that when you attain enlightenment, or when you die, you return to nirvana- back to existence as it really is, part of nirvana. Death then becomes the same as enlightenment. You are part of real existence again after this hell full of suffering, we mistakenly think of as 'reality'. I suppose you could call that 'ego death'.

Looked at in that way, death is merely reaching nirvana in a different way, so can hold no terrors. The danger of this particular visualization, of course, is that people may take it the wrong way and just throw themselves under the nearest bus. You don't get to nirvana after you die, you simply carry on being part of it. Only in life can you realize that you were mistaken and 'find' nirvana. The right way to understand the visualization is that we can become enlightened in this lifetime by understanding the true nature of reality, then help others who are still suffering, by helping them become enlightened too.

Then the true power of the Bodhisattva vow can be understood, "I'm not going to stay with nirvana like that, not until all conscious beings in all time and space reach perfect understanding. So I will keep being reborn as a conscious being, separate from nirvana, and with all the suffering this brings, until this happens. Only then will I stay." Wow. What a vow!

So back to your point. Meditating on death is only one way of looking at death, and is really only for those enjoying life too much. It is for a stage in your development as a Buddhist that may or may not need to be dealt with, depending on where you are at at the time. To loosen attachment to life in order to understand it in the right way, not necessarily to overcome fear of death.

Hope this helps.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline chrispche

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Re: Death.
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2016, 04:18:46 am »
I have this terrible fear of death. I suffer from bi-polar disorder and have high anxiety. From a Buddhist point of view I should and do meditate on the subject of death. Actually let's call it ego death. So through the Dharma and meditation. I have been trying to slowly chip away at my ego and fear. I am making some progress, but it's terribly slow. I post this here in the hope of some advice or tips.

The most powerful visualization that may help here is the one where you imagine nirvana to be everything. When you attain consciousness as a human being, you lose this oneness and think that you are a separate being, set apart from nirvana. In a way, this is a form of death and causes the arising of suffering. The good news is that when you attain enlightenment, or when you die, you return to nirvana- back to existence as it really is, part of nirvana. Death then becomes the same as enlightenment. You are part of real existence again after this hell full of suffering, we mistakenly think of as 'reality'. I suppose you could call that 'ego death'.

Looked at in that way, death is merely reaching nirvana in a different way, so can hold no terrors. The danger of this particular visualization, of course, is that people may take it the wrong way and just throw themselves under the nearest bus. You don't get to nirvana after you die, you simply carry on being part of it. Only in life can you realize that you were mistaken and 'find' nirvana. The right way to understand the visualization is that we can become enlightened in this lifetime by understanding the true nature of reality, then help others who are still suffering, by helping them become enlightened too.

Then the true power of the Bodhisattva vow can be understood, "I'm not going to stay with nirvana like that, not until all conscious beings in all time and space reach perfect understanding. So I will keep being reborn as a conscious being, separate from nirvana, and with all the suffering this brings, until this happens. Only then will I stay." Wow. What a vow!

So back to your point. Meditating on death is only one way of looking at death, and is really only for those enjoying life too much. It is for a stage in your development as a Buddhist that may or may not need to be dealt with, depending on where you are at at the time. To loosen attachment to life in order to understand it in the right way, not necessarily to overcome fear of death.

Hope this helps.
Thanks that was interesting and informative.

Offline cazh

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Re: Death.
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2016, 04:24:18 am »
A quick reset statement that has served me well: The moment you realize you are not present -You are then present.

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Offline CYM sangha

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Re: Death.
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2016, 12:39:18 pm »
Chrispche, your original post is some months old, so perhaps you will not see this. Those wiser and more experienced than I have given you excellent advice (of which I will avail myself of, too). I only came here to say, I too have Bi Polar II disorder. Professionals have convinced me it is the only effective treatment.


Regarding death, I live with something-hard-to-name every day because I lost a child over 20 years ago. This loss drew me to Buddhism. I am not afraid of death, but I don't want to lose those close to me. Having seen four elderly through old age and death, I don't wish for a long life.

If you experience an existential "free floating" fear of death, perhaps you can write more about your thoughts here.

Offline Solodris

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Re: Death.
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2016, 11:26:06 pm »
When we die we get buried, eaten by maggots, pooped into dirt where grass grows, animals eat the grass and who eats the animals? Humans! Our karmic destination is the one we created on earth to be born in. Have a nice day!

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Death.
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2016, 05:39:56 am »
Quote
solodris:  "who eats the animals? Humans! Our karmic destination is the one we created on earth to be born in. Have a nice day!"


Then we have worms, followed by ants, fungae, mold, bacterium, then plant roots, then vegans and omnivores:











VEGAN: 

Omnivores: 
« Last Edit: November 09, 2016, 05:43:53 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Solodris

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Re: Death.
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2016, 06:09:02 am »
Very interesting perspective to consider everything as "food".
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 08:48:03 am by Solodris »

Offline Solodris

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Re: Death.
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2016, 12:28:08 pm »
If the stream identifies itself by each conscious moment, does that not reflect the karmic destination by thought? As in "think like an animal; Become an animal"?

Offline Solodris

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Re: Death.
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2016, 06:39:19 pm »
If the stream identifies itself by each conscious moment, does that not reflect the karmic destination by thought? As in "think like an animal; Become an animal"?

This seems to be the teaching of Samsara, skillful action produces beneficial results, unskilful action produces non-beneficial results.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 09:08:59 am by Solodris »

Offline Solodris

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Re: Death.
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2016, 09:38:13 pm »
In a case where fear of death would not be conditioned as suffering, hypothetically, would impermanence change too?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 09:11:41 am by Solodris »

Offline appas

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Re: Death.
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2016, 07:15:40 am »
you need not hold onto anything, nor death, fantasy about it.

Death is suffering, part of the First Noble Truth. But I think this is also a case of Two Truths, where the ultimate truth is as stated in the Diamond Sutra:
Quote
here is no passing
away, or coming into, existence. Only one who realizes this can really
be called a disciple

On the level of our everyday truth, things "come into" existence eg. by being born, pass away by dying. But the ultimate truth that the Buddha points to, I think, is that only form comes into existence, only form passes away. And, from Heart Sutra:
Quote
form does not differ from emptiness,
emptiness does not differ from form.
That which is form is emptiness,
that which is emptiness form.
[...]
Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings,
perceptions, impulses, consciousness.

Offline Solodris

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Re: Death.
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2016, 09:14:34 am »
My humble respects for the insight to this part of the Dharma.

 


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