A different kind of meditation on death

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Kim O'Hara
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A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Flatpack coffins help the environment, funeral costs and the grieving process

Key points:

A group in Tasmania is trying to lift the lid on funeral expenses
Members have been making DIY coffins from wood but are now branching into cardboard
They say it's cheaper, more environmentally friendly and can come as a flatpack

When Jenny Cox's brother-in-law Phil died earlier this year she knew a cardboard coffin was the perfect choice.

"We were looking for a solution for Phil that was really environmentally friendly," she said.

"This coffin was made out of bioboard so it was a compostable coffin and that really fitted with his values and the things he believed in.

"He was a strong environmentalist and loved the bush." ...

Ms Cox said painting the coffin helped her grieve and heal.

"When you paint, the process of painting makes you become calm and centred and you have to do that to be able to paint," she said.

"So it actually helped me immensely, just the physical process of being still and painting." ...

Gina McKinlay said she was completely at peace with having terminal lung cancer.

"Dying has never bothered me, it's a process of life," she said.

She has outlived her prognosis by three and a half years.

Last year, with the help from volunteers at the club, she built her own coffin out of pine but would also recommend cardboard. "It's a feeling of accomplishment too, it might be the last large thing that you make, who knows." ...
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-03/ ... n/12719470

Whatever your thoughts about cardboard coffins, thinking about what you will be buried in beats avoiding thinking about death altogether.

:namaste:
Kim
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:15 am Whatever your thoughts about cardboard coffins, thinking about what you will be buried in beats avoiding thinking about death altogether.
It used to be the custom in China for the wealthy to have coffins made for them while still healthy, and they would be displayed in a special room in the house where they could be “showed off” to impress visitors.
..,not only thinking about death, but in a sense, being able to brag about it!
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
Nobodyisspecial
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Nobodyisspecial »

Funeral expenses sound like a lot of money. I will not be worrying about it because I'll be dead.

In Thailand they just put a body on the burnpile, no expensive card board coffin or anything else.

I suspect funeral costs are all the government's fault. All of the restrictions. You can't bury people like my beloved pet dog grave site. It's the government's fault. But if you want a killer party to accompany the memory or a great person.... That is not really funeral costs in my opinion that's party costs.

Buddhist funeral? How much are the Japanese Zen priests charging to die? Like I said, cheap funeral? Just don't pay for it and let the government take care of it. Respect and love in life, in death just throw away that old rubbish.
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Jesse »

I always wanted to be buried with a new tree. Preferably a fruit tree. Perfect reincarnation, give the body back, become food for others who need it.

It would actually be cool to have a non-profit that does something of this nature. There's all sorts of options, for example,
"With good climate, optimal choices and proper cultivation procedures Black Perigord (truffles) production will occur under hazel, oak, chestnut, poplar, willow and other trees."
Fungi such as truffles are able to breakdown and convert most things into nutrients, so it would help to breakdown the remains, and nurture the trees.

If it ever became popular, it would be a nice way to replant a bunch of tree's also. Sell reincarnation as part of helping climate change. :P
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Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Jesse wrote: Sat Aug 28, 2021 9:15 am I always wanted to be buried with a new tree. Preferably a fruit tree. Perfect reincarnation, give the body back, become food for others who need it.

It would actually be cool to have a non-profit that does something of this nature. There's all sorts of options, for example,
"With good climate, optimal choices and proper cultivation procedures Black Perigord (truffles) production will occur under hazel, oak, chestnut, poplar, willow and other trees."
Fungi such as truffles are able to breakdown and convert most things into nutrients, so it would help to breakdown the remains, and nurture the trees.

If it ever became popular, it would be a nice way to replant a bunch of tree's also. Sell reincarnation as part of helping climate change. :P
:good:

:meditate:
Kim
confusedsoso
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by confusedsoso »

cremation will be fine by me
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Kim O'Hara »

confusedsoso wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 11:13 pm cremation will be fine by me
It's quick, simple and relatively clean, I admit, but as a long-time climate change warrior I don't want it for myself unless the crematorium has a carbon capture and storage system... which isn't likely unless I live another fifty years or more, and maybe not then.
:juggling:
Still, living another fifty years has its own advantages so I might give it a go. :smile:

:coffee:
Kim
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Knotty Veneer »

I've just been through this process with the death of my wife and both parents this year.

My parents were Irish Catholic and wanted the full traditional Irish Catholic death rituals: wake, funeral notice in the newspapers, funeral mass etc. Initially, they wanted burial but the price of plots in any of the local cemeteries was eye-watering. In the end they both chose cremation and so could be interred in an existing family plot. Even so the full Catholic funeral was very expensive and they had both been paying funeral insurance for years to avoid leaving us with huge debts.

My wife was a non-observant Jew and her wishes were very simple. She wanted cremated and chose a non-frills cremation service of the type becoming popular in the UK. No religious service and she left it up to me how her ashes would be dealt with. I'm going to place them in the Stupa at Samye Ling where mine will go one day too.

The non-frills service was half the price of using a local undertakers and suited us but some parts were pretty basic - the urn for example was not good and I had to buy something else to retain her ashes in. However I think it is a good option for Buddhists. It costs £500 to stores one's ashes at Samye Ling - but this was, incidentally, much less than any other burial or other columbarium options I looked into.

Obviously, just scattering ashes is the cheapest option but I like the idea of my wife's life being honoured by the regular prayers and rituals at Samye Ling.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Losing your wife and both parents in a single year must have been tough :consoling: but I think you made good choices.

:namaste:
Kim
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Here's another option - composting. I've heard of it before but there are more details and comparisons here -
...Known as body composting, the process reduces human remains through a natural organic reduction process.

"This is the same process but done with a human body inside of a vessel and, in our case, in a controlled environment," Mr Viddal said.

On September 7, Colorado became the second US state after Washington to allow human body composting. Oregon, further south, will allow the practice from July 2022. ...

The insulated wooden box is about two metres in length, 90 centimetres wide and deep, lined with waterproof roofing material and packed with wood chips and straw.

Two large spool wheels on either end allow it to be rolled across the floor, providing the oxygenation, agitation and absorption required for a body to compost. ...

After about three months, the vessel is opened and the "soil" is filtered for medical devices like prosthetics, pacemakers or joint replacements.

The remaining large bones are then pulverized and returned to the vessel for another three months of composting. Teeth are removed to prevent contamination from mercury in fillings. ...
:reading: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-26/ ... /100486964

I'm not convinced, myself. It's just a high-tech, speeded up, high-cost, version of what happens naturally after burial.

:namaste:
Kim
Malcolm
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Malcolm »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:15 am
Whatever your thoughts about cardboard coffins, thinking about what you will be buried in beats avoiding thinking about death altogether.

:namaste:
Kim
I don’t care how my corpse is disposed of. It’ll probably be cremated, though.
"Death stands before all who are born."
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Toenail
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Toenail »

Malcolm wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:33 am
Kim O'Hara wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:15 am
Whatever your thoughts about cardboard coffins, thinking about what you will be buried in beats avoiding thinking about death altogether.

:namaste:
Kim
I don’t care how my corpse is disposed of. It’ll probably be cremated, though.
Donate it to science
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justsit
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by justsit »

Toenail wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:41 pm Donate it to science
That is not always an option, in the US anyway, depending on a number of factors.

Here's one example; criteria vary by state.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/body-donatio ... g-donation
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

I remember seeing something a few years ago about a liquid solution that dissolves the body, and is also ecologically and hygienically safe. You drop the body into a tank of it. But I don’t remember now what it is.
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Aemilius »

Alkaline hydrolysis (also called biocremation, resomation, flameless cremation, or water cremation) is a process for the disposal of human and pet remains using lye and heat. The process is being marketed as an alternative to the traditional options of burial or cremation.

The process is based on alkaline hydrolysis: the body is placed in a pressure vessel that is then filled with a mixture of water and potassium hydroxide, and heated to a temperature around 160 °C (320 °F), but at an elevated pressure, which prevents boiling. Instead, the body is effectively broken down into its chemical components, which takes approximately four to six hours. A lower temperature and pressure may be used, but at a longer duration (98 °C (208 °F), 14 to 16 hours). At the beginning of the process, the mixture is strongly basic, with a pH level of approximately 14; pH drops to 11 by the end, but the final pH level depends on the total operation time and the amount of fat in the body.

The result is a quantity of green-brown tinted liquid (containing amino acids, peptides, sugars and salts) and soft, porous white bone remains (calcium phosphate) easily crushed in the hand (although a cremulator is more commonly used) to form a white-colored dust. The "ash" can then be returned to the next of kin of the deceased. The liquid is disposed of either through the sanitary sewer system, or through some other method, including use in a garden or green space.[6] To dispose of 1,000 pounds (450 kg), approximately 60–240 US gallons (230–910 l; 50–200 imp gal) of water are used, resulting in 120–300 US gallons (450–1,140 l; 100–250 imp gal) of effluent, which carries a dried weight of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) (approximately 2% of original weight).
svaha
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They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Kim O'Hara »

So what are the claimed benefits of alkaline hydrolysis over cremation?
:juggling:
Kim
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Aemilius
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Re: A different kind of meditation on death

Post by Aemilius »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:30 pm So what are the claimed benefits of alkaline hydrolysis over cremation?
:juggling:
Kim
No gases from the burning corpse are emitted into the atmosphere. In places like India you have to count the cost of wood for burning. Annually that makes a significant amount of wood, especially as you have to use expensive kinds of wood for wealthy or loved and honored persons.

There is a kind of poetry in "The liquid (from the dissolved corpse) is disposed of either through the sanitary sewer system, or through some other method, including use in a garden or green space."
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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