Overcoming Fear of Death

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LuisR
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Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by LuisR » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:18 pm

What is the best way to go about it? Just meditate and follow the eight fold path as closely as possible?

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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by Wizard in the Forest » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:37 pm

Defeat death. You can overcome birth and death with proper practice.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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cappuccino
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by cappuccino » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:42 pm

By not identifying with the body…

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budo
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by budo » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:45 pm

Don't overcome fear of death, instead give up desire to be reborn.

Do you really want to be reborn human? Odds of being reborn to a war torn country, an abusive family, alcoholics, drug addicts, religious fanatics, poor country, birth defect, cancer, mental illness, infanticide, familial rape, a country with high homicide rate.

You are basically playing the lottery, odds are you won't win again.


I don't know about you, but I have no desire to be reborn as a human, and only in the pure abodes where I can attain enlightenment because even the heavens scare me, I don't ever want to return to samsara, and hell after heaven.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by rightviewftw » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:17 pm

[The Blessed One said:] "Brahman, there are those who, subject to death, are afraid & in terror of death. And there are those who, subject to death, are not afraid or in terror of death.

"And who is the person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death? There is the case of the person who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, & craving for sensuality. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'O, those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from me, and I will be taken from them!' He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious. This is a person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, & craving for the body. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'O, my beloved body will be taken from me, and I will be taken from my body!' He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has not done what is good, has not done what is skillful, has not given protection to those in fear, and instead has done what is evil, savage, & cruel. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'I have not done what is good, have not done what is skillful, have not given protection to those in fear, and instead have done what is evil, savage, and cruel. To the extent that there is a destination for those who have not done what is good, have not done what is skillful, have not given protection to those in fear, and instead have done what is evil, savage, & cruel, that's where I'm headed after death.' He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person in doubt & perplexity, who has not arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'How doubtful & perplexed I am! I have not arrived at any certainty with regard to the True Dhamma!' He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death.

"These, brahman, are four people who, subject to death, are afraid & in terror of death.

"And who is the person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death?

"There is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, and craving for sensuality. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought does not occur to him, 'O, those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from me, and I will be taken from them!' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, and craving for the body. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought does not occur to him, 'O, my beloved body will be taken from me, and I will be taken from my body!' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has done what is good, has done what is skillful, has given protection to those in fear, and has not done what is evil, savage, or cruel. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'I have done what is good, have done what is skillful, have given protection to those in fear, and I have not done what is evil, savage, or cruel. To the extent that there is a destination for those who have done what is good, what is skillful, have given protection to those in fear, and have not done what is evil, savage, or cruel, that's where I'm headed after death.' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has no doubt or perplexity, who has arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'I have no doubt or perplexity. I have arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma.' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"These, brahman, are four people who, subject to death, are not afraid or in terror of death."
Yes basically cultivate the The four foundations of mindfulness, the four right exertions, the four bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors for Awakening, the noble eightfold path for the ending of effluents thru lack of clinging and dispassion .

LuisR
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by LuisR » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:09 pm

Thank you for the replies. I have a lot of work to do.

:namaste:

dharmacorps
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:41 pm

Technically, I don't think you can practice to overcome the fear of death. But if you earnestly practice the path, the fear of death will disappear at stream entry, or at least that's the traditional teaching.

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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by 2600htz » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:42 pm

Hello:

By living a good life you give up most of the fear of death (if you believe in heaven/hell/rebirth).
If that is not enough work on your understanding and personal views about what happens at the time of death.

Regards.

paul
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by paul » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:11 pm

A practitioner should only be thinking about the future in the following terms:

“…these mental factors of sati, alertness, and ardency indicate that right sati, as a factor in the path to the end of suffering and stress, brings memories from the past to bear on a clear alertness of events and actions in the present with the purpose of abandoning unskillful qualities and developing skilful ones both in the present and on into the future.” —-“Right Mindfulness”, Thanissaro.

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Dhammarakkhito
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:00 am

Do you really want to be reborn human? Odds of being reborn to a war torn country, an abusive family, alcoholics, drug addicts, religious fanatics, poor country, birth defect, cancer, mental illness, infanticide, familial rape, a country with high homicide rate.

You are basically playing the lottery, odds are you won't win again.
the odds are kinda low for genuine buddhists, especially taking refuge early enough in life realizing the benefit of merit
i like to remember ven angulimala because he made very bad kamma in his life
even people that do a lot of kindness usually have wrong views
craving for existence is the cause and condition for fear of death, am i correct?
develop dispassion for existence evaluating the drawbacks of existence; birth again and again, painful feeling, separation from the loved, association with the unloved, old age, sickness, death. death shouldn't be a surprise because it literally happens to everyone, think about it (ajahn chah said three times or at least three times a day)

"There are these five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained. Which five?

"'I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging.' This is the first fact that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained.

"'I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness.' ...

"'I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death.' ...

"'I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me.' ...

"'I am the owner of my actions,[1] heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.' ...

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
personally i find painful feeling more frightening than death, but losing what i love is a shock, but yeah just contemplate it, come to accept that with birth as condition there is decay-death (with existence as condition birth)
resolve disputes with anyone
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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Mkoll
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by Mkoll » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:51 am

That's a great sutta that rightviewftw posted in reply to your question. It's AN 4.184. Here is Venerable Sujato's translation:
Then the brahmin Jāṇussoṇi went up to the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to the Buddha:

“Master Gotama, this is my doctrine and view: ‘All those liable to death are frightened and terrified of death.’” “Brahmin, some of those liable to death are frightened and terrified of death. But some of those liable to death are not frightened and terrified of death.

Who are those frightened of death? It’s someone who isn’t free of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for sensual pleasures. When they fall seriously ill, they think: ‘The sensual pleasures that I love so much will leave me, and I’ll leave them.’ They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. This is someone who is frightened of death.

Furthermore, it’s someone who isn’t free of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for the body. When they fall seriously ill, they think: ‘This body that I love so much will leave me, and I’ll leave it.’ They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. This, too, is someone who is frightened of death.

Furthermore, it’s someone who hasn’t done good and skillful things that keep them safe, but has done bad, violent, and corrupt things. When they fall seriously ill, they think: ‘Well, I haven’t done good and skillful things that keep me safe. And I have done bad, violent, and corrupt things. When I pass away, I’ll go to the place where people who’ve done such things go.’ They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. This, too, is someone who is frightened of death.

Furthermore, it’s someone who’s doubtful, uncertain, and undecided about the true teaching. When they fall seriously ill, they think: ‘I’m doubtful, uncertain, and undecided about the true teaching.’ They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. This, too, is someone who is frightened of death. These are the four people liable to death who are frightened and terrified of death.

Who are those not frightened of death? It’s someone who is rid of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for sensual pleasures. When they fall seriously ill, they don’t think: ‘The sensual pleasures that I love so much will leave me, and I’ll leave them.’ They don’t sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. This is someone who’s not frightened of death.

Furthermore, it’s someone who is rid of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for the body. When they fall seriously ill, they don’t think: ‘This body that I love so much will leave me, and I’ll leave it.’ They don’t sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. This, too, is someone who’s not frightened of death.

Furthermore, it’s someone who hasn’t done bad, violent, and corrupt deeds, but has done good and skillful deeds that keep them safe. When they fall seriously ill, they think: ‘Well, I haven’t done bad, violent, and corrupt things. And I have done good and skillful deeds that keep me safe. When I pass away, I’ll go to the place where people who’ve done such things go.’ They don’t sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. This, too, is someone who’s not frightened of death.

Furthermore, it’s someone who’s not doubtful, uncertain, or undecided about the true teaching. When they fall seriously ill, they think: ‘I’m not doubtful, uncertain, or undecided about the true teaching.’ They don’t sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. This, too, is someone who’s not frightened of death. These are the four people liable to death who are not frightened and terrified of death.”

“Excellent, Master Gotama! … From this day forth, may Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”
I'd summarize the 4 teachings thus:

1) Abandon sensuality. Only a non-returner or arahant has fully abandoned it. If you have cultivated the paramis to the point that you can let it go without much trouble, that is excellent. If you're like most of us, this is very difficult to do all at once. So abandon what you can and slowly but surely, progress will be made.

2) Abandon fascination with the human body, internally (your own) and externally (others'). Not only is the body a powerful sensual object that ties us to sensuality, it also serves as a basis for delusion, especially self-identification. As with the above, it's a gradual process.

3) Establish and uphold virtuous behavior, i.e. follow the precepts. Also undertake the 10 courses of wholesome action, develop mindfulness, cultivate the paramis.

4) Establish and uphold faith in the Triple Gem. Faith is a faculty that can be cultivated. How one does this within oneself is personal and each person must find their way.

IMO, #4 is the most important because with faith, one will see the importance of and follow through on the other three. #3 is a close second.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:25 am

LuisR wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:18 pm
What is the best way to go about it? Just meditate and follow the eight fold path as closely as possible?
I never had any fear of death. What I fear is pain and suffering that often comes before death!
The main reason I don't fear death is because I reckon I'll be reborn. And before I was Buddhist, I was an Atheist. I didn't fear death then either because I thought it was nothingness.

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budo
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by budo » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:58 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:25 am
LuisR wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:18 pm
What is the best way to go about it? Just meditate and follow the eight fold path as closely as possible?
I never had any fear of death. What I fear is pain and suffering that often comes before death!
The main reason I don't fear death is because I reckon I'll be reborn. And before I was Buddhist, I was an Atheist. I didn't fear death then either because I thought it was nothingness.
Rebirth is a lot worse than death IMHO, and should be feared more.

Personally if I had to choose between sleeping all day and getting up and going to work every morning just to maintain this pain in the arse body, I'd choose sleeping all day.

In fact a good day for me is sitting in a sunny garden and relaxing, anything more than that is not worth the effort.

Enlightenment is simply the process of refining your pleasures and comparing what's worth the effort (stress).

What's worth the dukkha? The more sublime states you reach the more you realize: the juice is simply not worth the squeeze.

Nibbana is the most sublime state of all, thus everything else in comparison is not worth the squeeze.

Therefore death is a non-issue, death is something I look forward to, just like going to sleep after a long day of work and I'm glad that's over.

Rebirth is the issue and what I fear because I never want to have that back breaking hard day of work ever again.

BKh
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by BKh » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:56 am

Ajahn Thanissaro has a great anthology on old age, sickness and death called Beyond Coping. You can download it as an ebook here:
https://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index ... ond_coping

You may also be able to find a copy in your local monastery's library.

The best way to absorb the truth of these suttas is to read a little bit every day. Here is an article about using anthologies as a daily practice.
https://readingfaithfully.org/2010/11/2 ... -practice/

In particular, this is a good sutta for every-day remembering... https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/AN/AN5_57.html
beyond_coping_thumb.jpg
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ReadingFaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas | becomeabuddhist.org
audtip. org Audio Sutta Recordings | BuddhaRupa Images of the Buddha across time and space

Saengnapha
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Re: Overcoming Fear of Death

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:25 am

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:00 am
Do you really want to be reborn human? Odds of being reborn to a war torn country, an abusive family, alcoholics, drug addicts, religious fanatics, poor country, birth defect, cancer, mental illness, infanticide, familial rape, a country with high homicide rate.

You are basically playing the lottery, odds are you won't win again.
the odds are kinda low for genuine buddhists, especially taking refuge early enough in life realizing the benefit of merit
i like to remember ven angulimala because he made very bad kamma in his life
even people that do a lot of kindness usually have wrong views
craving for existence is the cause and condition for fear of death, am i correct?
develop dispassion for existence evaluating the drawbacks of existence; birth again and again, painful feeling, separation from the loved, association with the unloved, old age, sickness, death. death shouldn't be a surprise because it literally happens to everyone, think about it (ajahn chah said three times or at least three times a day)

"There are these five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained. Which five?

"'I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging.' This is the first fact that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained.

"'I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness.' ...

"'I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death.' ...

"'I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me.' ...

"'I am the owner of my actions,[1] heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.' ...

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
personally i find painful feeling more frightening than death, but losing what i love is a shock, but yeah just contemplate it, come to accept that with birth as condition there is decay-death (with existence as condition birth)
resolve disputes with anyone
If you are a genuine Buddhist, you will know that you will not be reborn because there is no entity that takes birth, no entity that lives, and no entity that dies. Look into that and everything else will be taken care of.

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