Help with fear of death

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:15 pm

Johnny, I have had more than one bout with death. A few traumatic events in my life.
I've learned to accept it, and know one day it will happen to me for the last time.

My friend the only thing I can say is to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment you have.
We never know when the time will come. So do your best to enjoy without harming others and you may, as I have, learn to just enjoy each and every moment of this precious life.


:namaste:
Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Snovid » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:18 pm

I'm wondering if anyone has any personal practices or bits of wisdom though they've picked up regarding this fear.

If you want(practice) it means that you enslaved ;)
you should not want,then you will be free
but it's hard to be like stone that does not want anything
so...

OOBE overcomes the fear of death.
You might want to get rid of fear
and get rid of it by practicing what you want
provided that you are not afraid ' slavery' of wanting.

Rainbow Body also overcomes death
but in order to make you have to practice
you must want to practice
when you want it-You are a slave
Slaves are not worthy of this practice.

If you want, first you must do not want.

;)
I am from Poland I use google translator I do not know English
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:41 pm

:thinking:
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby NIRMAL2 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:40 pm

We should not fear death but fear the process of dying but then, there is always something we can do about it.That could help us to develop a healthy respect for death.More attention has to be given to those things in life that are beyond the material level.There is no beginning called birth and no ending called death.One of the supposed benefits of manifesting the life-condition of the Buddha is freedom from all fear.
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby porpoise » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:09 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote: That is the worst part of the fear, it's like at this point I hardly even take the fear seriously anymore, but it is always running in a loop and can easily suck me into this very self-absorbed, fatalistic world if i'm not careful. It's a very self-centered fear.


Yes, I know what you mean. What I find sometimes helps is compassion practices like metta bhavana - reminding myself that we're all in the same situation.
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby duckfiasco » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:05 am

* The five daily recollections as part of your early morning practice (Upajjhatthana Sutta).

I like TNH's version, which I try to absorb before I meditate first thing in the day.
Really visualize each recollection happening to your body and your life.
1. I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
2. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.
3. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
4. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
5. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

After all, what is left after your death among the living but the ripples of your actions?

* Continued study of emptiness from many different angles. It's hard to integrate it into our lives sometimes, so different metaphors, language, stories can spur insight.
I'm currently reading "Seeing, Knowing, Being" by John Greer. It draws on many different mystical traditions to explain non-duality and other ideas in a broad way. I've found it very helpful.

My view is that like any concept, we saw this strange "thing going on" and tried to make sense of it.
We decided to call this birth, that life, and that death, cutting one off from the other.
Somewhere on the way, we started accruing emotions and ideas on top of this idea "death".
We're afraid of a monster of our own making.
But it's hard to ignore it when nearly everyone you know believes in it and has taught you the same fear.

* A regular meditation practice to fortify mindfulness. That way, fear of death doesn't get such a strong foothold and make you sick with worry or sadness.
You'll need all the mindfulness you can get to approach such a strongly engrained thing as fear of death and all the socialized baggage that comes with it.
A strong practice will also give you the bravery not to listen to those fears but investigate for yourself.

We have to heal our painful concepts about death.
We're all in the same boat :group:

Hope that helps.
Namu Amida Butsu
"When people of the Pure Land school chant Namu amida butsu, they are doing zazen with their mouths, and when we do zazen, we are performing Namu amida butsu with our whole body." - Kosho Uchiyama (Opening the Hand of Thought)
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Will » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:19 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote::thinking:


This quote is not from a Buddhist, but it is in line with your blind Yama signature. "It is not death we fear, but loss of the known and familiar."

So the more dispassion, disgust, boredom etc we have toward cyclic 'life' the better. In tandem, work on your faith in the reality of the heaven realms, pure lands and the primacy of mind, not senses. Thirdly, develop more confidence in the fear-removing power of your favorite bodhisattva.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Fa Dao » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:37 am

JD,
I understand what you are going through. I used to have a problem with this too linked with depression. Unless a person has had a full blown panic attack centered around the fear of death they simply cannot understand what it is like. The strategy that worked for me was to prepare myself ahead of time knowing that when it arose I would JUST observe it..our natural inclination is to retreat from it, push it away. Some will say that you have to learn to accept it as a natural part of life. There is another option. No accepting or rejecting..just relax as much as possible and observe it. Slowly it will fade all on its own and eventually it will lose its power over you, you will no longer be a slave to it. I sincerely hope you are able to get past this..I know how debilitating it can be to ones life.
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Kunga » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:14 pm

Meditation on emptiness, especially self-emptiness. When we meditate on (and gain experience of) the illusory self then the fear of death (and everything else) gradually falls away. _/\_
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:19 am

Fa ado, thanks man...it's nice to hear that someone can identify, and has gotten somewhere, I'm trying to do just this and "watch" this stuff as it passes, it's helping.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Fa Dao » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:47 am

keep at it..it gets better bro, I promise. Just like anything the more you practice the better you get
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby mindyourmind » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:58 am

I have also had to fight some pretty impressive demons regarding my previous fear of death.

As a Westerner I had a long hard look at the poison that my particular brand of Christian upbringing and religious background instilled in me, from a very early age. I regarded it as important to understand and unwind that damage, all that talk of hell and fire and brimstone.

Then, a lot of study and practice including ngondro, emptiness meditation and a growing understanding of how leaving samsara is not all that bad an idea. Noticing my own attachments helped a lot.

This last year also saw the death of a lot of people that I love, including my mother.Working through that and seeing how life is a door, how it happens to all of us, reading the Bardo Thodol - it all helps.

I have completely lost my fear of death, and I am quite ready to die today. It is however, an existential challenge that has to be faced, and it sounds as if you are well on your way.

All the best
As bad as bad becomes its not a part of you

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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:01 am

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wholesome-Fear- ... esome+fear

http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Live-Withou ... hout+worry

these books might help. Lama Zopa Rinpoches book are always full of wisdom. the other book i just ordered, havent read yet.

i suffer from the same problem btw
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:48 am

Fa Dao wrote:JD,
I understand what you are going through. I used to have a problem with this too linked with depression. Unless a person has had a full blown panic attack centered around the fear of death they simply cannot understand what it is like. The strategy that worked for me was to prepare myself ahead of time knowing that when it arose I would JUST observe it..our natural inclination is to retreat from it, push it away. Some will say that you have to learn to accept it as a natural part of life. There is another option. No accepting or rejecting..just relax as much as possible and observe it. Slowly it will fade all on its own and eventually it will lose its power over you, you will no longer be a slave to it. I sincerely hope you are able to get past this..I know how debilitating it can be to ones life.



Johnny Dangerous wrote:Fa ado, thanks man...it's nice to hear that someone can identify, and has gotten somewhere, I'm trying to do just this and "watch" this stuff as it passes, it's helping.




Fa Dao. i know whats it like to have a full blown panic attack on this. i had in basically everyday non stop for a year or so but it was too intense to get through it, i thought that i would be killed very soon or in the same day. now its a lot easier and i have more acceptance and not so much buying those delusions, some disturbing thoughts i still buy in my mind but then again there is doubt but still uneasiness. i hope i can deal this through without having to have another panic attack episodes. it was too though and its still having a numbing and paralyzing effect for me maybe in the morning. just want to sleep and not confront the day ahead. anyway, its a gradual process that takes time. compassion, love and acceptance. those will heal the fear for me especially since it is related to other people and fear of them. so chenrezig helps me a lot.

but there i still have to do the work and work with my mind, but overcoming the fear of getting killed in my case has been a great teacher and will be a great accomplishment when i finally can ease up with it and overcome it and learn to love it as a part of my being. :smile: :stirthepot:


Johnny D. thanks for this topic. its good to hear that im not the only one going through these difficulties, there are others. i wish you all the best in healing your being :anjali:
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:12 pm

lobster wrote:
It's a very self-centered fear


Self centered where and how?




for me the self centerdness comes when the ego feels so threatened that it must do something about the situation and that is very self centerdness in the fear because i was basically seeking a way out not thinking about others and how it affected them, just seeking to save myself. that is how i experienced self centeredness of the fear. basically your heart closes down totally and you are not able to open it up for anyone or almost anything. except for chenrezig maybe, but even that is just trying, not really opening.

for me it felt in the entire body and in my hand especially. i couldnt bear the feeling in my hand and heart was also very unease and the whole body too. over whelming.

glad its not even close to as intense as it was. lots have changed.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby philji » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:45 pm

What is the the buddhist view on cryonics?????
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby mindyourmind » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:02 am

For all the "wisdom" out there on the topic of death, I do know as a fact that in dying I will share that experience with The Buddha, with Milarepa, with all of the beautiful people that have already died that have inspired me so far on my Buddhist path, that I will share the experience that even HH Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and you, dear reader, must go through.

And for that understanding I feel so grateful.
As bad as bad becomes its not a part of you

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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Nosta » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:52 pm

Johhny Dangerous, you said you practice sleep yoga...how did you learn that? I am seeking good books about that.

I have fear of death too, but my main reason for that is the separation of loved ones, and thats hard to deal with.


How do I deal with that? Well, the daily life stuff stops me from thinking to much: I wake up, i must take my breakfast fast, then go to my car, drive to work, get to work and start giving classes; during the class my mind is completly centered on that (too much stuff to do there), etc...I dont have time to think lol.

Another thing that works great with me - but I am not doing that since a while - is physical exercise. It improves my mood a lot.

And, at last, I think that daily mindfulness (while eating, driving, etc) is helping me a lot (in general, not only about the fear of death) because toughts will go away...your energy is occupied living the moment.
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:08 pm

Nosta wrote:Johhny Dangerous, you said you practice sleep yoga...how did you learn that? I am seeking good books about that.

I have fear of death too, but my main reason for that is the separation of loved ones, and thats hard to deal with.


How do I deal with that? Well, the daily life stuff stops me from thinking to much: I wake up, i must take my breakfast fast, then go to my car, drive to work, get to work and start giving classes; during the class my mind is completly centered on that (too much stuff to do there), etc...I dont have time to think lol.

Another thing that works great with me - but I am not doing that since a while - is physical exercise. It improves my mood a lot.

And, at last, I think that daily mindfulness (while eating, driving, etc) is helping me a lot (in general, not only about the fear of death) because toughts will go away...your energy is occupied living the moment.


There are practices in a couple books i've read, Chenrezig: Lord of Love and Tenzin Wangyal's book on sleep and dream yoga are the one's i've tried.

I'm going to a formal teaching on powa and dream yoga next month. I have been trying people's suggestions here and they are helping, thanks guys.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby qwerty13 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:02 pm

Mindfullness on amitabha and reciting his mantra helps in case of fear of death. This works on so many levels. Just in the beginning of this week I was struck by fear of death. Because of that i began to recite amitabhas mantra. First the fear of death subsided and know its slowly turning into confidence. Plus it does ton of other good things to you.

So remember Amitabha and his vows.

Call him, and he will be with you.
People love emotional confusion. Just look at the film posters in front of the cinema: nothing but emotional confusion on their faces. Buddha-dharma means not putting yourself at the mercy of emotional confusion. In the world, on the other hand, a big fuss is made over nothing.

-Kodo Sawaki
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