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Death Contemplation |Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Dhammasiha

Death Contemplation |Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Dhammasiha

Update: 2021-12-09
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The typical response to death in our society is denial. But however much we deny it, that will not change the basic reality of our own mortality. The Buddha instead advises us to directly confront this challenging reality by deliberately contemplating death ('Maraṇussati').


However, to really gain the intended benefit from death contemplation, there are two important preliminary conditions:


  1. We have confidence that death is not an absolute end, but that the mind/consciousness will continue and take up a new body in the next rebirth according to our kamma and craving.
  2. We have confidence that it is possible to completely overcome and defeat death, to personally realize the same deathless reality ('Amatadhātu') in our heart that the Buddha experienced under the Bodhi Tree. We have faith that we all can make an end of death by following the Buddhas teaching.


Once we have that confidence, contemplation of death will no longer make us sad or depressed. Instead, it will lead to a sense of urgency to enhance our Dhamma practice, so that we reach the escape from death.


If we are well established in Maraṇussati, we will not be shocked when we experience others dying, and we will gradually weaken anxiety about our own death. We abandon laziness and heedlessness, and diligently put forth effort in our meditation. We protect our precepts, and we forgive those who have hurt us - what's the point of holding on to grudges, if sooner or later all of us will pass away anyhow?



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Death Contemplation |Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Dhammasiha

Death Contemplation |Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Dhammasiha