Welcome to our fifty fifth online suggested practise for the week. We are now broadcasting a live teaching each Monday evening. If you would like to participate please contact us using the contact form on the homepage.
1.0) If you feel so inclined, begin by reciting the usual prayers (please follow below links for text). Alternatively, try to think or articulate a wish for all beings to achieve liberation from suffering, etc .
Four Thoughts: contemplating each in turn – http://northantsbuddhists.com/the-four-thoughts/
Refuge Prayer: twice in Tibetan, once in English – http://northantsbuddhists.com/the-refuge-prayer/
2.0) A summary of The Nine-Point Meditation on Death – Presented by Bob Pollak
Preparation (posture) and Motivation (prayer to benefit all beings)
A. The Inevitability of Death
Contemplate the following three points to get a sense of how death is definitely going to happen to you.
(1) Everyone has to die
(2) Your lifespan is decreasing continuously
(3) The amount of time you have for spiritual practice is very small
By meditating on the above points, you should be able to develop the determination to use your life wisely and mindfully.
B. The Uncertainty of the time of Death
(4) Human life-expectancy is uncertain – “We know we’re going to die, but think it won’t be for another 200 years.” Akong Tulku Rinpoche
(5) There are many causes of death – Bring to mind cases of people you know or have heard about who have died, and think of how they died. Think that any of these things could happen to you as well.
(6) The human body is very fragile
Our human body is very vulnerable; it can be injured or struck down by illness so easily. Right now, you might feel healthy, energetic and secure, but something as small as a virus or as insignificant as a thorn could become the cause of your death.
C. The fact that only spiritual practice can help you at the time of death
(7) Your loved ones cannot help No one will climb into your coffin to comfort you….
(8) Your possessions and enjoyments cannot help
(9) Your own body cannot help
Contemplate the strong sense of dependence and attachment you have to your own body, and how it cannot benefit you in any way at death. Fear of pain and regret about leaving it will only compound your suffering.
Only spiritual practice can help you at the time of death!
Dedication – Remember the motivation you had at the beginning of the meditation and dedicate the merit of doing the meditation to that same purpose.