Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Investigating DEATH to overcome it

Ajahn Maha Boowa via Ven. Sujato and Ellie Askew; edited by Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
(TheJourneyOfPurpose) Death is an illusion; life is a dream; we are the co-creators of our own imagining. "The present moment is the only moment available to us and is the doorway to all moments" - Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. In addition, we hear from speakers: British Buddhist teacher Alan Watts, Apple Inc's Steve Jobs, actor Jim Carrey, and Nick Vujicic.
Ever imagine dying in slow motion? Taken by the arms, killed by cops while conscious?

All around is this killjoy Death. Why?
In your investigation of death, you must investigate so that you can really get to see the truth of it [and wake up from this delusion].

In this whole world of saṁsāra [the "continued wandering on" through life after life, through rebirth and redeath], every person, every male, every female, every animal, they must all die.

Wherever we may be, there is always a cemetery. Even right here where we are sitting there is a cemetery, for there are all sorts of animals and organisms that die all over the place. It is just that we never think about it that way. We don’t think of it as a cemetery.

We just call it an assembly hall or pavilion (sālā). In our bodies there can be found many organisms living inside us, such as germs for instance. They are one form of animal. And inside this body there is nothing that one can call attractive or beautiful.

You must investigate and analyze to see according to the truth of the Buddha, the One Who Woke Up. The defilements (kilesas) -- the defiled mind and heart -- tend to see it as something beautiful. They tend to see it as people, as animals, as ‘I,’ as ‘mine’  [rather than as impersonal phenomena].

We'll live for a long time, but what about others?
And attachment to [wrong] view, our clinging [upādāna] to misunderstanding, is much more tenaciously fixed than a nail driven into a piece of wood. It cannot be easily dislodged.

This is because of the influence of the defilements/kilesas, our misperception of things. We must, therefore, uproot and correct this misperception, which is truly the work of the kilesas.

We can do this with the Teaching, the Dharma, of the Buddha, using:
  • sati = mindfulness
  • paññā = wisdom
  • saddhā = confidence
  • viriya = energy, diligent effort.
We must get to see it clearly. We have to establish our perception so that we really see this body passing away, because death [which is not coming in the future but happening at every moment] is the undeniable truth.

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