Author Topic: Coping with death  (Read 2519 times)

RedLantern

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Coping with death
« on: June 22, 2014, 06:22:36 PM »

Most people will agree that the fear of Death is the greatest pf all fears.Perhaps it is not so much its terrifying inevitability,but that there is so much ignorance about it.Why is it so?
The Buddha spoke extensively about death but His most important message is that we need not fear death if we conduct our lives with wisdom.It could be suggested all the religions of the world evolved at least in part to explain the phenomenon and what happens when the " soul " or "consciousness"or whatever gave " life" departs  from the body.Is it merely extinguished? Does it return? Does it go to heaven or hell? Did it ever exist in the first place?

Big Uncle

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 01:39:11 AM »
I think the fear of death reflects the overall materialistic nature of our human existence. Life and the motions of it encourages one to be attached to life and be attached to its trivial aspects like going to school, getting a degree, getting a job, career, marriage, car, house, kids, retirement and so forth. When we lose life, all our attachments and fears come into play in a big way. There would be no greater loss than life and yet, very little we do in life prepares us for this great journey. All religions attempt to do this especially Buddhism but very few understand or would even internalize the teachings for this.

Midakpa

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 12:26:42 PM »
We fear death out of ignorance. The best way to overcome this fear is to meditate on death and impermanence. It is also helpful to learn about the death process and be prepared for it in advance. There are many teachings on this. As Buddhists, we believe in karma and rebirth. Therefore, we should work to abandon non-virtue, accumulate merits and wisdom and benefit others. In fact, contemplating death and impermanence will make us better people. Knowing that death is certain but the time of death is uncertain, we will not let ourselves be affected by small things and we will have a clearer and more detached view of life in this world.

gbds3jewels

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2014, 07:07:09 AM »
I don't think it is death per say that we fear but the perceived suffering that usually comes with death. So the mind automatically make the association between pain/suffering and death and the fear. I think it is the intense suffering we fear the most.

Many people has committed suicide and usually under the circumstances of intense mental and/or emotional state. In this state, death is perceived as a relief from this state of suffering. So death in many ways is also perceived by some as to be free from the suffering of this life.

If we simply go to sleep and die and don't wake up anymore, I don't think there is much to fear about death. Most us do not truly believe in karma, fate, heaven and hell anyway - if we do, we would not have lived our lives the way we do today. So what is there to fear about death and what happens after death since we live most of our lives like we are freaking immortals! We fear the pain and suffering our mind perceived as what comes before death or what leads to death.

Manjushri

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2014, 08:45:40 AM »
It is normal for people to fear death, it is our final destination. No one can escape it. I think people fear it because they fear losing everything. They fear that when the time comes, it is really the end, and it is during these times that the regrets, the what ifs, what I didn't do comes in. We fear death because we fear letting go.

The Buddha has taught many teachings on death. People know, but don't internalize the teachings. In the Buddhist perspective, our consciousness travels onto a next vessel once our current vessel is no longer available. Therefore it is in our hands now to determine which vessel we will next go to. Our consciousness cannot be destroyed, until it reaches a state of enlightenment. Our existence today has been determined by our past lives, whereever our consciousness was. If we all started on the same blank page, then all of us should infact have the same "time on Earth". But some of us die young, some die later. Why is that? So therefore, our consciousness cannot vanish, but will keep moving on to take different forms.   

cookie

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2014, 07:02:39 AM »
DEATH IS A NEW BEGINNING .  If everyone believes and know that for sure, would death be easier to accept ? I think so ! If every sentient being is sure of rebirth they will not fear the unknown of death. Those with strong attachments, to material and non-material, they may still suffer as they do not want to loose these things at death. But in general, if one is suffering from sickness and old age, and they are sure that death is a new beginning, they may actually look forward to death.
On top of that, if they know and believe in the conditions attached to which realm one may take rebirth, they may then act according to the rules of Karma in the current life, to ensure they have a good or better rebirth in their next life.
One can cope better with death if they have the knowledge to do so. All fears and other mind obscurations starts from IGNORANCE, the very core root of all our problems !

maricisun

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2014, 03:07:40 PM »
Coping with death is not an easy path but this is something inevitable. It is suffering but if we have the dharma knowledge and know how to let go then it is something very beautiful as this is a new beginning of life for the departed one.
We must not cling on to that person at time of death so that the deceased will 'go' peacefully.
We must also know that everything is impermanence so when death is near we will not fear it too much.

eyesoftara

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 04:41:12 AM »
All religion teaches one to cope with death either in the form of salvation as in monotheistic religions like Christianity, Islam and Judaism; or in the case of Buddhism and Hinduism good rebirth and Nirvana. Nirvana or Enlightenment is most likely achieved when a person is still alive and after attainment of it, it is said that the person is an arya being who can control his/her death and rebirth.

For ordinary people depending on the religion (if at all one practices any), most of the time, death is something far off from one's mind and only when confronted with death, either when one or a love one contracted a critical disease, will a person start to fear death. It is one of the greatest tragedy and ignorance and a waste of one life that this is the case for only when a person is healthy and are able to practice spirituality that one can achieve a state of spiritual "readiness" of death depending on the religion.

So for me, as death is a sure thing and we are not certain when take will happen, we need to practice our religion now.

MoMo

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2014, 01:23:53 PM »
Most of us would agree with the reasons of fear of death equated to fear of losing objects of attachment of this life. A wealthy Buddhist friend relate a story of how her old age bedridden father constantly mourn of the wish to end his life due to the constant pain he suffered, After a decade it occur to her that death was not the most fearful as “living death” experiences by her father who could not partake in any of the worldly pleasure surrounding him and the ending of this condition seem so far way.

pgdharma

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2014, 03:25:43 PM »
It is normal that most people fear death.  However, as Buddhist we know that death is not the end of life, it is merely the end of the body we inhabit in this life, but our consciousness will take a new rebirth and where we will be born is dependent on our karma.

In order not to become the victim of fear and grief, we have to contemplate on impermanence; always being aware of the impermanence of life and having a loving attitude towards all living things in this transient existence we will be free of fear and will not grasped selfishly to life.

dondrup

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2014, 04:32:38 PM »
Death is a natural phenomenon which occurs when the causes and conditions which sustain life fall apart. For example, this could be due to the expiry of the lifespan of a sentient being.  Fear of death arises because sentient beings are ignorant of the death process. Another reason for the fear is because sentient beings are not prepared for death and have no knowledge on how to deal with this sudden change in their lives.

In Buddhism, the mind leaves the body upon death.  The mind will take rebirth in another existence.  During the bardo state, bardo beings attempt to find their future parents within 49 days. If the bardo being was successful, rebirth will take place.

This process of death and rebirth will repeat continuously in samsara.

DS Star

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Re: Coping with death
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2014, 06:41:04 PM »
"Life is uncertain, Death is certain" so says the Buddha

We fear unknown and death is like the ultimate unknown. For people who have spiritual faiths, some will fear for all the 'sins' or unwholesome actions that they have done before. They fear the punishment of hell.

For those without any faith, then they may have the extreme side of it. Thinking that death is a certain end of everything, they may try to hold on and to fulfill every single wish for this life... even to the extend of killing unnecessarily.

As practicing Buddhists, we must know that only when we learn and understand death, and the beyond, then only we learn to live with purpose and our fear of death will significantly reduced.

For Tibetans, and the followers of Tibetan Buddhism, we have the great teachings from the worldwide popular book, The Tibetan Book of Death. It has clear explanations of death, the process, the experience and also the guides on how to face death, when the time finally comes...

"Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns; the original nature of your own mind. The natural state of the universe unmanifest. Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge with it. It is your own true nature, it is home."