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A friend of mine posted this image on facebook today, and it made me think a few different things about the practice.Sokushinbutsu
Sokushinbutsu (即身仏) were Buddhist monks or priests who caused their own deaths in a way that resulted in their mummification. This practice reportedly took place almost exclusively in northern Japan around Yamagata Prefecture. It is believed that many hundreds of monks tried, but only 24 such mummifications have been discovered to date.
Today, the practice is not advocated or practiced by any Buddhist sect, and is in fact banned in Japan.
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There is no limit to what people can do once they have grasped on an idea. Misunderstanding the Dharma is very easy. Understanding correctly the Dharma is also very easy. What you choose is what matters, that is your karma.
"To know by thinking falls into the secondary. To know without thinking falls into the tertiary."(Yangshan Huiji, X1405p58b18-19; tr. JC Cleary: A Tune Beyond the Clouds, p 43)"While teachers of the middle way, mind only, transcendent wisdom, mantra, and other schools may have their own assertions, the fulfillment of those intentions is the same. There is not a single thing that is not contained within mind."(Gampopa to Düsum Khyenpa, in "The First Karmapa", KTD Pub, p 254)Mahayana LinksThe European Buddhist Blog
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