Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
manas
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Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by manas »

I feel grateful for finding this on Youtube. If it's better posted elsewhere, I'm happy for it to be moved there, I just wanted to share it with everyone else. 🙏
Ven. Anālayo's voice is very soothing also, and his depth of knowledge inspires confidence.



:anjali:
“It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what’s called ‘mind,’ ‘intellect,’ or ‘consciousness’ by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another." - SN 12:61 (excerpt)

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bodom
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by bodom »

Thank you for posting.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is so simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

- Ajahn Chah

manas
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by manas »

bodom wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:46 pm
Thank you for posting.

:anjali:
Most welcome 🙏 For those of us who might have a serious health condition, while it's of course important to do our best to heal, I think it's also a good idea to prepare. In any case, this process is going to happen to all of us, at some time.
“It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what’s called ‘mind,’ ‘intellect,’ or ‘consciousness’ by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another." - SN 12:61 (excerpt)

SarathW
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by SarathW »

manas wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:14 pm
bodom wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:46 pm
Thank you for posting.

:anjali:
Most welcome 🙏 For those of us who might have a serious health condition, while it's of course important to do our best to heal, I think it's also a good idea to prepare. In any case, this process is going to happen to all of us, at some time.
Ven. Vijithananda argues that death meditation is a form of Samatha practice even though it may help Vipassna in a later stage.
Death is a future event. We do not know how it is going to happen. It is not practical to contemplate on what is not happen.
If you are walking contemplate walking not death.
However, you can contemplate on someone else really died. But it is not you.
Vipassana is body contemplation take your body as the object and contemplate what is happening right now.
With that experience, you can contemplate death when that happens.
However, he encourages direct Vipassana practice.
If you are sick contemplate your sickness right now in your body.
Contemplate on the pain you experience and your mental states right now.

It is also to remember Buddha discouraged Asubha meditation.
It is not suitable for every person. Especially for lay people.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Nicolas
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by Nicolas »

SarathW wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:20 pm
[...]
"Death meditation" is described by the Buddha as reflecting on the possibility of death being imminent, and that one should thus be mindful and put in effort to dispel unwholesome qualities in case death comes soon. (see AN 6.19 & AN 6.20)

manas
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by manas »

SarathW wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:20 pm

Ven. Vijithananda argues that death meditation is a form of Samatha practice even though it may help Vipassna in a later stage.
Death is a future event. We do not know how it is going to happen. It is not practical to contemplate on what is not happen.
If you are walking contemplate walking not death.
However, you can contemplate on someone else really died. But it is not you.
Vipassana is body contemplation take your body as the object and contemplate what is happening right now.
With that experience, you can contemplate death when that happens.
However, he encourages direct Vipassana practice.
If you are sick contemplate your sickness right now in your body.
Contemplate on the pain you experience and your mental states right now.

It is also to remember Buddha discouraged Asubha meditation.
It is not suitable for every person. Especially for lay people.
Hi Sarath,
thank you for your comment. After doing the meditation as instructed, I realized it was not exactly the same as the 'cemetery contemplations' as described in the Satipatthana Sutta, however I undertook it with a degree of trust in the teacher, since I already know of Ven. Analayo as being highly respected & knowledgeable regarding such practices (I believe he wrote a book on Satipatthana?).

I agree it's not for everyone. Ven. Analayo gives a little warning about this, before the meditation begins. I found the stage of contemplating insects & worms devouring this body confronting, since, as you correctly point out, this body is, at this time, still alive...so I kind of see where you might be coming from. Overall, however, I was using it as I believe Ven. Analayo intended it: as a preparation to let go of what we cannot hold on to, and I actually found it soothing. Then again, I'm 51 years old; maybe younger folks ought to be more careful with this one, is that what you meant? I agree that one ought to have a level of experience with Buddhism before undertaking it. Yet, having said that, I also got the feeling of finally having found something wonderful (maranasati), something to practice as a counterpart to breath & walking meditation, and this video is, for me in any case, just a springboard for more investigation of this type of meditation. I'm going to seek out how to do the cemetery contemplations in a more orthodox way, at some stage.

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what’s called ‘mind,’ ‘intellect,’ or ‘consciousness’ by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another." - SN 12:61 (excerpt)

SarathW
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by SarathW »

Perhaps death meditation is suitable for people who are indulging in sensual pleasures.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

manas
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by manas »

SarathW wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:28 pm
Perhaps death meditation is suitable for people who are indulging in sensual pleasures.
i searched for this meditation, specifically because I have a couple of serious health conditions, and while I am trying to heal from them, it's not guaranteed I will; a heart specialist implied I might need open heart surgery in five to ten years (I think he said that about a year ago, too...not sure), and my kidneys were not doing too well either, when I last checked (I'm overdue for another blood test, so not sure if they've improved of late); thus, I wish to begin preparing now for what is, in any case, inevitable someday (for all of us, really).

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what’s called ‘mind,’ ‘intellect,’ or ‘consciousness’ by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another." - SN 12:61 (excerpt)

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bodom
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by bodom »

manas wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:35 pm
SarathW wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:28 pm
Perhaps death meditation is suitable for people who are indulging in sensual pleasures.
i searched for this meditation, specifically because I have a couple of serious health conditions, and while I will try my best to heal from them, it's not guaranteed I will; a heart specialist implied I might need open heart surgery in five to ten years (I think he said that about a year ago, too...not sure), and my kidneys are not doing too well at present, either; thus, I wish to begin preparing now for what is, in any case, inevitable someday (for all of us, really).

:anjali:
Hi manas,

Have you read Analayo's Mindfully Facing Disease and Death?

It can be read here for free:

https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg ... edeath.pdf

:anjali:
The heart of the path is so simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

- Ajahn Chah

SarathW
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by SarathW »

manas wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:35 pm
SarathW wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:28 pm
Perhaps death meditation is suitable for people who are indulging in sensual pleasures.
i searched for this meditation, specifically because I have a couple of serious health conditions, and while I am trying to heal from them, it's not guaranteed I will; a heart specialist implied I might need open heart surgery in five to ten years (I think he said that about a year ago, too...not sure), and my kidneys are not doing too well at present, either; thus, I wish to begin preparing now for what is, in any case, inevitable someday (for all of us, really).

:anjali:
Hi Manas
Sorry to hear about your ill health.
The good news is it is five to ten years away.
You can improve your health within 12 weeks if you have a good diet and an exercise plan.
Add Satipathana to that as well.
I wish you all the best.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

manas
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by manas »

bodom wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:53 pm

Hi manas,

Have you read Analayo's Mindfully Facing Disease and Death?

It can be read here for free:

https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg ... edeath.pdf

:anjali:
Thank you! I look forward to some insightful reading :reading: :anjali:
“It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what’s called ‘mind,’ ‘intellect,’ or ‘consciousness’ by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another." - SN 12:61 (excerpt)

manas
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by manas »

SarathW wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:17 pm

Hi Manas
Sorry to hear about your ill health.
The good news is it is five to ten years away.
You can improve your health within 12 weeks if you have a good diet and an exercise plan.
Add Satipathana to that as well.
I wish you all the best.
All good, the diet is going well, I should do more walking out in the fresh air, however; so thanks for the reminder and the well-wishes :anjali:
“It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what’s called ‘mind,’ ‘intellect,’ or ‘consciousness’ by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another." - SN 12:61 (excerpt)

char101
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by char101 »

The recollection of death is used to promote a sense of urgency (samvega) and are often used alongside metta meditation as an opening recollection before practicing other type of meditation (e.g. anapanasati).

How to practice maranussati in the Visuddhi Magga
4. One who wants to develop this should go into solitary retreat and exercise
attention wisely in this way: 'Death will take place; the life faculty will be
interrupted', or 'Death, death'.

5. If he exercises his attention unwisely in recollecting the [possible] death
of an agreeable person, sorrow arises, as in a mother on recollecting the death
of her beloved child she bore; and gladness arises in recollecting the death of
a disagreeable person, as in enemies on recollecting the death of their
enemies; and no sense of urgency arises on recollecting the death of neutral
people, as happens in a corpse-burner on seeing a dead body; and anxiety arises
on recollecting one's own death, as happens in a timid person on seeing a
murderer with a poised dagger.

6. In all that there is neither mindfulness nor sense of urgency nor knowledge.
So he should look here and there at beings that have been killed or have died,
and advert to the death of beings already dead but formerly seen enjoying good
things, doing so with mindfulness, with a sense of urgency and with knowledge,
after which he can exercise his attention in the way beginning 'Death will take
place'. By so doing he exercises it wisely. He exercises it as a [right] means,
is the meaning.

7. When some exercise it merely in this way, their hindrances get suppressed,
their mindfulness becomes established with death as its object, and the
meditation subject reaches access.
The benefit of practicing maranussati based on the Visuddhi Magga
A bhikkhu devoted to mindfulness of death is constantly diligent. He acquires
perception of disenchantment with all kinds of becoming (existence). He
conquers attachment to life. He condemns evil. He avoids much storing. He has
no stain of avarice about requisites. Perception of impermanence grows in him,
following upon which there appear the perceptions of pain and not-self. But
while beings who have not developed [mindfulness of] death fall victims to
fear, horror and confusion at the time of death as though suddenly seized by
wild beasts, spirits, snakes, robbers, or murderers, he dies undeluded and
fearless without falling into any such state. And if he does not attain the
deathless here and now, he is at least headed for a happy destiny on the
breakup of the body.

SarathW
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by SarathW »

I wonder how a person who kill animal and eat them contemplate on death!
Even a person who eat meat.
:shrug:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

sunnat
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Re: Recollection of death - a guided meditation by Ven. Anālayo

Post by sunnat »

Ledi Sayadaw the requisites of enlightenment : "in the case of hunters and fishermen, it should not be said that they should not practise samatha-vipassanā-manasikāra (advertence of mind towards tranquility and insight) unless they discard their work. One who says so causes dhammantarāya (obstruction to the Dhamma). Hunters and fishermen should, on the other hand, be encouraged to contemplate the noble qualities of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha. They should be induced to contemplate, as much as is in their power, the characteristic of loathsomeness in one’s body. They should be urged to contemplate the liability of oneself and all creatures to death."

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