inspiration for cemetery contemplations

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Re: inspiration for cemetery contemplations

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:41 pm

Aemilius wrote:Thanks for your link!
I don't see this topic as "morbid", the emphasis is on the fact that it forms a natural bridge to the scientific knowledge about the formation and disintegration of the human form.
We don't regard it morbid when plants die and leaves fall every autumn. We know and accept that it belongs to the natural cycle of life. Human life is not different form it.

Yes, conceptualizing it in a really broad way linked to impermanence as you have makes it not morbid, but natural. But the actual sight (and smell) of mutilated human corpses is gruesome and repulsive. There is good reason that meditating on this is called meditation on "the foul", asubha in Pali.
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 5:53 am
Location: USA

Re: inspiration for cemetery contemplations

Postby Aemilius » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:56 am

Thanks!
It depends on the circumstances how one will react, mutilated corpses will certainly and naturally invoke disgust and repulsive feelings. However, the great Theravadin commentator Buddhaghosha says that the 32 impurities of the body are not impure in themselves. Seeing them as impure, asubha, is a reaction caused by one's attachment to life. When we are free from this basic attachment life and existence, they will no longer appear as impure. This is an instance where Buddhaghosha understands and explains the Mahayana teaching of emptiness (of inherent nature). Foulness of the corpse is dependent on one's emotions. It is not foul by itself, thus foulness is empty of inherent nature.

I have piece of human skull at home. How I see that piece of human skull depends on one's state of mind. If you meditate on the four Brahma Viharas, and have some level of equanimity and the rest, you will see that piece of skull as a neutral object. The concept of death exists in one's mind, the emotions that it invokes also exist in one's mind. They do not exist in the object (skull etc..).
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: inspiration for cemetery contemplations

Postby Mkoll » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:11 am

Another contemplation of the body is via the elements. See MN 140.
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 5:53 am
Location: USA

Re: inspiration for cemetery contemplations

Postby Aemilius » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:15 am

Places to visit on Your summer vacation:

svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Previous

Return to Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

>