Since death alone is certain ...

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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paganbuddha
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Since death alone is certain ...

Postby paganbuddha » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:40 pm

Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?

no I'm not dying anymore than most of you, it's a philosophical question, something that is given as a meditation exercise in most Buddhist traditions, I'm just curious of people's opinion of all walks of life on this question

you can even ask this question from yourself

and you can post even what YOU should do

edit: fixed title
Last edited by paganbuddha on Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Sherab Dorje
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Re: Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncer

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:45 pm

And what is the question exactly? I mean, I don't see any question marks anywhere in your title or post.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

paganbuddha
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Re: Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncer

Postby paganbuddha » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:33 pm

Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?

dude
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby dude » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:20 am

study death

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randomseb
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby randomseb » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:27 pm

Don't waste time worrying about death? If you intend to one day practice and gain awakening, don't wait until "one day", start now?

:shrug:
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!

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Sherab Dorje
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Re: Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncer

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:28 pm

paganbuddha wrote:Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?
Depends on who you ask. :smile: What do you reckon you should do?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

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Jesse
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby Jesse » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:50 pm

Facing death can put thing's in perspective, for me it makes me want to understand life better, to understand myself. I would personally like to face death with no fear.
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein

"When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?"
-Eleanor Roosevelt

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Re: Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncer

Postby Knotty Veneer » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:55 pm

paganbuddha wrote:Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?


Appreciate the life you have now and don't waste it on meaningless things.
Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it - Mark Twain.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:30 pm

Start at the end and work backwards.
Start with something ideal,
even though this may not be what happens.

You are on your deathbed.
It is your last day.
People ask you,
"Do you want some food? Do you want something to drink?
Do you want me to pop a movie into the DVD player for you?
Would you like to wear a fancy hat?"

And you think,
"No, no, there is nothing more that I need.
I am fine just lying here.
And you are finally at peace.
There is nothing more that you need to do.
It's like the end of the workday and
Your shift has ended,
and you are taking a ride home,
so now you can just relax.

No more craving. You are finally free
and everything that people are doing seems
ridiculous somehow
because you are at the last stop on the line
looking backwards at them
at everybody on the train of life,
all running around like crazy
still trying to find a good seat.

So, that final state,
where you don't need anything,
I would try to cultivate that now
while you still have a few breaths left.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

Sherab Rigdrol
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby Sherab Rigdrol » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:53 pm

Oh I've been asking this question ever since I was a child. At this point in my life I started to work with the dying. Trying now to make a career helping people die as consciously and compassionate as possible. Very lucky to have come across Anyen Rinpoche the past year as he has created a structured way to do that through his Dying With Confidence training. September I'll hopefully be starting Level 1.

Death has always been the pink elephant in the room for the West. I'm doing my best to make friends with him and feed him some peanuts.


Oh and knowing the fact of death--learn and practice as much Dzogchen teachings as humanly possible. Practice Phowa as much as possible too. These are my two goals for the rest of this incarnation.

odysseus
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Re: Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncer

Postby odysseus » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:57 am

paganbuddha wrote:Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?


Train on realising the deathless.

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kirtu
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby kirtu » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:05 am

paganbuddha wrote:Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?


Well death is certain and the time of death is uncertain. However death alone in not certain. Read as death, with no continuation of mind, is the nihilist view. Read as all beings must themselves face death without help from others (i.e. one's own mind must face death) then that is true.

Death is certain. The time of death is uncertain. And one will face the karma that one has accrued by oneself - that is certain.

So the response would be to practice now at least for a better rebirth (the minimum motivation of any Buddhist practitioner). And it would be better to practice for liberation and best to practice to attain Buddhahood and free all sentient beings from their sufferings. Which sounds like a party line but thems the facts.

Ironic that the end of March is the death anniversary of one of my beloved cats. But in truth, if we could see the discarded bodies of ourselves and other beings all of the earth would be covered in bodies to the height of Mt. Meru.

We must die. Our friends must die. Our "enemies" must die. Our beloved family and pets must die. We are helpless to keep them from death.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby _username_ » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:04 am

"When close approaching death you should forgive your neighbor and ask for mercy."

Punya
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby Punya » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:29 am

Stop wasting time on Dhama Wheel and go do some practice (note to self :smile: ).
We pray for the good health of the teachers
We pray for their precious lives to be long
We pray for their activities to spread and increase
May we be blessed never to part from the teachers.

From a short practice by Dudjom Rinpoche

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Quiet Heart
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby Quiet Heart » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:35 am

paganbuddha wrote:Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?

no I'm not dying anymore than most of you, it's a philosophical question, something that is given as a meditation exercise in most Buddhist traditions, I'm just curious of people's opinion of all walks of life on this question

you can even ask this question from yourself

and you can post even what YOU should do

edit: fixed title

-----------------
:smile:
As I am 67 years old, I am probably closer to that certainty than other younger members of this forum.
From my personal view death is a non-event .... merely a stage on the path from birth to rebirth and (hopefully) realisation.
There is no Self .... but only a temporary self (note no capital letters on the word self).
Life is like a tree... new leaves grow on it in the spring, and each year they die and fall off with the coming of winter.
Otherwise, without this season's leaves falling off that tree ... how would next year's leaves ever be reborn and bloom again in the next spring?
Personal opinon .... both death and birth/life are illusions of one's Ego Self. Pay no attention.
Just live the Now mindfully.
I'm trying to make that my Practice.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach

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LastLegend
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby LastLegend » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:14 am

Quiet Heart wrote: :smile:
As I am 67 years old, I am probably closer to that certainty than other younger members of this forum.
From my personal view death is a non-event .... merely a stage on the path from birth to rebirth and (hopefully) realisation.
There is no Self .... but only a temporary self (note no capital letters on the word self).
Life is like a tree... new leaves grow on it in the spring, and each year they die and fall off with the coming of winter.
Otherwise, without this season's leaves falling off that tree ... how would next year's leaves ever be reborn and bloom again in the next spring?
Personal opinon .... both death and birth/life are illusions of one's Ego Self. Pay no attention.
Just live the Now mindfully.
I'm trying to make that my Practice.
:smile:


I want to be like you one day. It's true then that at the age of 60 or after, people are supposed to be liberated given that they have been living according to the laws of nature.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

Andrew108
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:55 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Start at the end and work backwards.
Start with something ideal,
even though this may not be what happens.

You are on your deathbed.
It is your last day.
People ask you,
"Do you want some food? Do you want something to drink?
Do you want me to pop a movie into the DVD player for you?
Would you like to wear a fancy hat?"

And you think,
"No, no, there is nothing more that I need.
I am fine just lying here.
And you are finally at peace.
There is nothing more that you need to do.
It's like the end of the workday and
Your shift has ended,
and you are taking a ride home,
so now you can just relax.

No more craving. You are finally free
and everything that people are doing seems
ridiculous somehow
because you are at the last stop on the line
looking backwards at them
at everybody on the train of life,
all running around like crazy
still trying to find a good seat.

So, that final state,
where you don't need anything,
I would try to cultivate that now
while you still have a few breaths left.
.
.
.

This is well said. People should take his to heart.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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kirtu
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby kirtu » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:27 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:And you are finally at peace.


You weren't at peace much/most of your life already? That would be a problem.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Since death alone is certain ...

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:40 pm

kirtu wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:And you are finally at peace.


You weren't at peace much/most of your life already? That would be a problem.

Kirt

Yes, if ou weren't at peace much/most of your life already, that would be a problem.
That's why it is good to get started asap.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

Namgyal
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Re: Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncer

Postby Namgyal » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:49 pm

paganbuddha wrote:Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?

Milarepa, 'The Dharma of Milarepa, my way, is to live and die without regrets.'
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