The External World

A king’s robe or an old blanket can keep you warm.
A gold throne or the bare ground can be your seat.
A grand palace or a mud hut can be your shelter.
A jewelled plate or a wooden pot can hold your food.
The external world does not destroy your inner peace,
But your attachment and aversion will.

~ Chamtrul Rinpoche

What is Dying? The Journey Begins — A Mahayana Buddhist View

Photo by Mattia Faloretti on Unsplash

Death is often a frightening subject. We are afraid to die. Unlike our parents and grandparents, we are not exposed to death. We have no knowledge or experience of dying as these days; most people die in the hospital. Several decades ago people died at home. Everyone, including young children, had the opportunity to observe a relative dying at home. This experience and knowledge abated much of the fear around dying. ~ from” Barry Kerzin’s FaceBook page.

How does one speak about Dying and Death in the Western world? Mostly with fear and dread from what I have learned during my life.

Are fear and dread good ways of dealing with what we all must go through? I think not. Our fear of death causes us much suffering here in the West. I know I have in the past sustained emotional pain when my loved ones passed. And there have been quite a few in the last few years. Too many if I allow my heart to speak.

Therefore, it is time to learn more about death and the fear of dying from the Mahayana Buddhist viewpoint. My need to learn coincided with one of my friends Barry Kerzin’s posts.

A doctor, a monk, a teacher, a lazy man. All of these things, yet none. ~ Dr. Barry Kerzin.

Dr. Kerzin wrote posts starting in late February regarding The Eight Stages of Death. The posts were detailed and yet understandable.

The timeliness strikes me. And is not lost on me. It is time to understand deeper. It is time to drop the illusion.

Over the next weeks, I will be writing about Death from the Mahayana perspective and delve deeper into the Eight Stages of Dying. Being a person who likes to research and explore a topic, especially one so dear, like this one, there will be quite a few posts.


May this post be of benefit to all sentient beings.

 

 

Suffering…

 

English: personal gift of photo;anonymous phot...

English: personal gift of photo;anonymous photographer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Suffering, in fact, can be helpful in many ways. It spurs your motivation and as many teachings point out, without suffering there would be no determination to be free from samsara. Sadness is an effective antidote to arrogance. ~ Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

 

In their quest for happiness

The scriptures say that when the mind indulges in sensual objects, it becomes agitated. This is the usual state of affairs in the world, as we can observe. In their quest for happiness, people mistake excitement of the mind for real happiness. They never have the chance to experience a greater joy that comes with peace and tranquility. ~ Sayadaw U Pandita, “A Perfect Balance.”

 

Things do exist

The doctrines of emptiness and selflessness do not imply the non-existence of things. Things do exist. When we say that all phenomena are void of self-existence, it does not mean that we are advocating non-existence, that we are repudiating that things exist. Then what is it we are negating? We are negating, or denying, that anything exists from its own side without depending on other things. Hence, it is because things depend for their existence upon other causes and conditions that they are said to lack independent self-existence ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama,  Answers: Discussions with Western Buddhists pages 31-32.