Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Death and Disenchantment with Rebirth (video)

Dhr. Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly, Ven. Soma Thera, Disenchantment and Samsara
"Reality" (samsara)? This reality is no reality; it is unreal (maya)!
Uninstructed worldly minded people do not want to think of DEATH and do not like any pointed reference made to it by others.
(They would be right if there were nothing that could be done, no way to awaken from this illusion of endless life, death, rebirth, redeath...)
Such uncontemplative, uninstructed people deliberately shut their minds to the fact that death is right there waiting. We reject the possibility of a future life. And occupying ourselves only with things pertaining to this life, we seek to immerse ourselves in the ephemeral joys of the five strands of sense pleasure in a futile attempt to find lasting satisfaction.
So tired of this unconscious life, this useless wandering on in search of sense-satisfaction
To make such people think seriously about what is perhaps the most decisive event of life we have to reckon with -- an event that will determine our future lives -- the Buddha stated: "Every householder (lay disciple) and every one who has gone forth should constantly reflect, 'I am subject to death.'"
The uninstructed worldly-minded person sees others dying all around but through intoxication with a pride-of-life one acts as if one were immortal. One sees the victims of disease all around but due to intoxication with a pride-of-health one acts as if one were immune from disease.

Enjoying the first flush of life (our springtime), one sees many an old person in the last stages of decrepitude. But owing to a pride-of-youth, through becoming intoxicated with it, one acts as if one may never grow old.
(BWSA) The Process of Rebirth with comedian Ven. Ajahn Brahm (Brahmavamso Mahathera, born Peter Betts in London in 1951) is a Theravada Buddhist monk in the Thai forest tradition, a disciple of Ajahn Chah. He is Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery, Serpentine, Western Australia.
And one sees many people losing their wealth and becoming poor suddenly, but being intoxicated with a pride-of-power or position, one does not pity them, does not sympathize with them, and does not think that one too might well be overtaken by similar misfortune. 

The Moon, Moon, not my finger!
So intoxicated by these, and many other intoxicants, one behaves like a man beside himself, heedless of right and wrong, heedless of this world and the world(s) to come, enjoying fleeting pleasures, like a crab in a cooking pot before the water heats up enough to kill it.

Even in one's dreams one does not suspect that harm and suffering might befall, but when it actually does, one loses control, weeps, and wails, "Why me! Why me!"
Reflection on death, if rightly practiced by a person, opens our eyes to the individual essence of every form of being, its real nature. It removes the poison of pride, which makes us heedless.

We see according to the compassionate words of the Buddha: 
"Uncertain is life, certain is death;
It is necessary that I should die;
At the close of my life there is death.
Life is indeed unsure -- 
But death is sure, death is sure."

But there's hope!

"In one who ever and again
Reflects on death's hard hand of pain
The drive for gross material gain
Goes limp like hide snaked through with rain."

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