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 Alfredo » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:41 pm

Think about it this way. Suppose you learn you are going to die in a day or so. What would you think is most important? Telling your loved ones you love them? Enjoying one last walk in the park? Well, it may not be tomorrow or the next day, but the day will come soon enough, and the same things will be important then. Now live your life with that in mind. Don't think of mortality as something horrible that takes your life away--think of it as a great gift that lets us truly appreciate life, and each other. This would apply regardless of what kind of afterlife there may be.
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:14 am

Thanks all, I really appreciate all the suggestions.

It's difficult to explain to someone what this is like that hasn't experienced it, it is something impossible to intellectualize away, I know plenty of Dharma philosophy, and I know how I should feel about things, intellectually I fully understand the inevitability of death, and the preciousness of a human existence. Just knowing stuff does not really help with this though, which is why i'm glad that some people here who have experienced this firsthand piped up. That's the thing about phobias and panic like this, you can "know" or try to change your thinking to a degree, and you will meet with success at times..but the problem is this loop that just keeps going and going, and is generally MUCH more powerful than anything you throw at it and you have a hard time pulling yourself away from it. It's not an intellectual thing of thinking "oh, I might die"'s more like a physical feeling of panic and doom that kind of locks you in place and repeats itself, it's paralyzing, rather than just sad, annoying or whatever. Even worse, sometimes it generates a feeling of shame because it is so paralyzing, like I wish I didn't have this ridiculous problem that seems so irrational.

Anyway, I'm seem to be improving (doesn't hurt that the health problem that prompted this round seems to be on the wane), and I really appreciate people taking the time and it was therapeutic to get it off my chest.
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby KonchokZoepa » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:03 am

i feel you bro. i am and have pretty much experienced same stuff. for me it seems that even though its not very active now it is still somewhere in my unconcsoiuss or just at the edges of consciousness hiding and waiting to appear and start messing with my mind , body and life again.

well im preparing now, practicing lots of dharma, and if it hits, i hope my practice proves that some progress has been made.
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….


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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:09 am

Well thanks all, i'm improving, mentally and physically. Turns out I had ulcers, not fun. Hopefully with some of this advice, I can keep my anxieties in check in the future, it gets a little better every time I freak out. Glad I've gotten into Dharma again, otherwise my mental health would have been so much worse during this period, I managed to get through with no major shutdowns.
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
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Re: Help with fear of death

Postby LionelTeo » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:08 am

Good Afternoon Johnny,

I have this experience a few years ago, I do not know if they can be of any help to you. I am a born taoism in a superstitious family and recently move on to practising Dharma. A few years ago, I went to haunted place every week, hopefully to capture spirits, one day, I have this dreamt.

I was at the bottom of a valley, the sky was orange, looking up, I saw a bridge; on the bridge, there is lots of spirit life people walking in one direction from right to the left. The whole environment was in the colour setting of orange/red as well. On the center of the bridge, there is two tall figures. One black and one white, both long tongue, which both of their hands raise front and stright, they look like a statue, except that when I look away at the corner of the eye I saw them actually moving, and came to a standstill when I stare back at them.

I woke up, perspiring, the next thought I have is asking myself is my death coming soon? I always thought of asking a medium for this, but never do so. If you are familiar with chinese mythology, you will know what is those two I am talking about. A few years later when I apply my google-fu then I learn that their jobs is really guide spirits to hell! How do I even manage to dream of them doing that even before that I don't that is their job?

I suppose you have heard of the story of the king who wanted to taste the best food. He invited best chef in the world. Only to be dissatisfied with all until a so acclaim best chef shows up and ask him to stay hungry for 3 days before offering the a simple sauce vegetable and then the king manage to find the food so tasty after he tasted it. What people does not take away from the story is the moral of the story. Only through the acceptance of suffering then we will feel the happiness after the acceptance of suffering. Those who tries to avoid suffering will not never experience happiness.

The same goes to your experience. At a glance of this thread, I do not know how and what you thought of during in your mediation. I suggest that in your mediation, try to learn to accept your fear of death by thinking of all your near-death, fear death or death experience as much as possible but not to get involve in death instead of avoiding thinking of it. Ask yourself some questions about death and it is necessary to think about it? Remember the thoughts from the future and the past is not important, only the thoughts about the present is.

Knowing the theory and the mediation is only part of the learning. Remember Buddha had possess one other quality that is not taught, it is determination. I hope it helps and I pray for your success in able to eliminating the fear of death. :namaste:
We are born with compassion, it is just that we had lost it.
Understand no matter what happens, you already had shelter and food, these are enough for you to find happiness.
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