Bhikkhu Analayo on Contemplation of Death
Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:43 pm
See also Bhikkhu Analayo's guided meditation here:Analayo wrote: I think it helps to clarify one’s priorities in life. What do you really want to do with your life? It also changes how you relate to others. If I meet you with the certainty that I do not know if you or I are going to live for another meeting, then at this meeting I want to be fully with you. I want to make the most of this meeting. I want to say what I have to say and learn what I can learn from you—to its fullest. Then I become fully alive to this moment with you.
That way, in case you do pass away, I won’t feel like there was something I wished I had said but didn’t. Instead, when we are together I am fully present and fully there with you. I’m not just partially here and partially thinking about all the other things I have to do later. At the back of my mind I’m not thinking that I can always tell you the rest next month. Death contemplation changes how we relate to others and how we live our lives. It has a profoundly transformative effect. It actually makes us come much more alive.
On top of that, according to the suttas the Buddha says that death contemplation leads to the Deathless, to Nibbāna. So it is also a way of practicing insight because death is the cutting edge of impermanence, and impermanence is a main avenue for the cultivation of liberating insight. The most frightening aspect of impermanence is death. Things end, and the most frightening thing to end is this I.
https://www.bcbsdharma.org/article/deat ... 0Interview