|Buddhist monks practicing "meditation on repulsiveness (of the body)" at coroner's (wiki)|
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
"Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers"
Amber Larson, Seth Auberon, Crystal Q. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Mary Roach (amazon.com)
"Reflections on Repulsiveness" (Pāli paṭikkūlamanasikāra), a traditional Buddhist meditation on the 32 parts of the body. In addition to developing mindfulness and concentration this form of meditation is for overcoming sensual craving and lust. Along with the "cemetery contemplations," this type of meditation is one of the two meditations on the "foul" and unattractive (asubha). More
An oddly compelling and often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem, that is to say, after we die. For 2,000 years, cadavers (some willingly, some unwittingly) have been involved in science's boldest experiments and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way. In this fascinating, ennobling account, author Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and 19th-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them. More + AUDIO