Death and dying: request for resources

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible in order to double-check alignment to Theravāda orthodoxy.
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Re: Death and dying: request for resources

Post by genkaku » Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:08 pm

Hi Ben -- You probably have more than enough to shape your presentation, but your question put me in mind of an article the Zen teacher Joshu Sasaki once wrote. I can't remember if death was the focal point, but I do remember that he wrote about death to some extent.

One of the things he asked for, rather plaintively, was that westerners find a better word than "death." "Death" had a kind of finality and a kind of reliability that seemed to leave a sour taste in his mouth. It offered a fulcrum with which to frighten and perhaps threaten people, all of whom, as Gautama noted, "fear death." Scaring people is a cheap date.

By way of suggestion, Sasaki mentioned the word "senge," a term used for when a Buddhist monk died. He translated the word as meaning, "to change the place from which the Dharma (truth) is spoken." It's not as if the Dharma could not be spoken.

Oh well ... I was thinking that if you subtracted all the Buddhist trappings from this approach, it might be useful to your young listeners. But the approach does demand a kind of attentive investigation that anyone, Buddhist or otherwise, might be reluctant to engage.

Just chalk this post up to more blither. :smile:

I'm sure you'll do a good job.

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Re: Death and dying: request for resources

Post by Ben » Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:13 pm

Thanks Adam for your thought-provoking response,
and thanks also for your words of confidence.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Death and dying: request for resources

Post by vitellius » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:33 pm

Hello Ben and all,

you may find useful these materials:" onclick=";return false;

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Re: Death and dying: request for resources

Post by Moggalana » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:27 pm

Ajahn Brahm - Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully ... yfully.htm" onclick=";return false;
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

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