How to Practice Mindfulness of Death Meditation|buddhist death rituals 49 days
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While there are certainly more meditations out there that are harder to do, this one is one of the hardest to do well, even for experienced meditators. This meditation, in fact, is more or less insight focused, since it can't be developed very far by means of concentration or be much use for relaxation, but the scope of benefits are vast. Indeed what seems such a grim and depressing meditation has such a beautiful and enlivening aspect that a wise practitioner will examine and put into fruition. Can you master this complex technique?
Choose a quiet, peaceful place to meditate and a comfortable posture. The Do Mindful Meditation pages looks at the four postures in a little more detail, but any of the four will do for this subject. This meditation shouldn't be attempted by those in distress, in an unbalanced frame of mind, or those inclined to fantasy and should have a firm grounding of mindfulness.
Before starting, the practitioner should recognize that the focus of the meditation is totally objective and scientific, not personalized. Where (eg) loving kindness or goodwill is focused specifically towards individuals and people in mind, this one is not.
As with other meditations sincerity is essential, but the practice of virtue is also highly important in this meditation.
Firstly consider the many ways this meditation can go astray. Just like many other meditations, this one seldom stays on target and the mind wanders about in a whole scope of ways. The problem is a complicated duality in the mind, part of the mind wants to look into the subject of death, another part wants not only deny it but to stay as far away from the subject as possible. Some examples of many to avoid thinking about are:
The death of yourself in terms of fantasy such as how you'd imagine your funeral, who you would see and what you would like to say to them.
How you will die as it provokes fear and anxiety.
How other people that you love will die, since it will make you sad or anxious
How others will die that you don't like because it will make you feel glad for all the wrong reasons.
Where you and others will go after death. This often causes the most problems as the mind starts to become anxious, or is more likely to become prone to fantasy.
Falling into melancholia, or other emotions such as regret, fear, anger, worry etc. Crudely speaking, if the practitioner feels sad or angry (etc), it is a very clear sign they are not doing it right and so will need to start again.
Relax the tension and spend another few moments practicing awareness to become perfectly aware of what is going on in the mind. If it is still unsettled it is best to relax and focus on some aspect such as the breath a bit further, or to move to a different meditation practice, such as mindfulness. Meditation of death can be very depression. Once you feel that you are relaxed, stable and aware start to consider one of all of the following suggestions, keeping consistent awareness in check.
Consider the event of death as having the appearance of an assassin. No matter when or where you are, you won't escape this appointment.
Consider the indifference of the end of life. No matter how successful you are in your ventures, or how much you plan, beg or negotiate there is nothing that can prevent it.
Expand you scope and compare to all peoples. The famous and wealthy, those who do good things, those who are very strong mentally or physically, had perfect health (etc), those with power, technology (etc), were sages, saints, prophets or wise people. None could prevent death. It's not a matter of ability, or attainments or personal status.
Consider how the body is composite and an ecosystem. Your body is host to bacteria in the gut, viruses, parasites, skin flora etc. Likewise composite in the biological sense of blood, flesh etc. These things can keep you alive (in the normal sense) or make you
Mindfulness - How To Actually Practice
Observe the conditional nature of life. You need food & water, sleep, air, light, the right temperatures (etc), you need the organs and muscles to be able to breath, pump blood, digest food etc. You need the ability to get food and know safety and danger etc. Can you live without them?
Evaluate it can be natural or unnatural. Death may occur in our
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