Tag Archives: death

The Buddha’s Teaching When a Beloved Disciple Passed Away

This beautiful sutta from the Pali canon tells the story of what happened after the beloved disciple and arahat Sariputta passed away.  Sariputta—(Sāriputta (Pāli) or Śāriputra (Sanskrit)—was a truly remarkable student of the Buddha’s, and along with Ananda, was considered his greatest pupil. As Nyanaponika Thera writes of him in The Life of Shariputra: “Shariputra..was […]

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Everyone is Just Trying to Get Born Before They Die

In the past year I have my life has been greatly blessed by getting to know the inspired, skillful teachings of Stephen Levine. I highly recommend his A Gradual Awakening, Healing into Life and Death, and Who Dies?—An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying, the latter two being extremely helpful and skillful treatments of […]

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Choose life! Choose love! Choose to live!

“Most people can look back over the years and identify a time and place at which their lives changed significantly. Whether by accident or design, these are the moments when, because of a readiness within us and a collaboration with events occurring around us, we are forced to seriously reappraise ourselves and the conditions under […]

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Veterans Day-The Wounds of Combat Can Be Healed

As an ex-GI, I often find my heart and loving-kindness practice embracing our enlisted men and women throughout the world, and especially those in war zones. War is hell. That’s no cliché, and only those who have been in combat can truly testify to what that phrase means. That’s why around Veterans Day I highlighted the […]

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Krishnamurti-Fear of Death is Really Fear of Life

Death & Life J. Krishnamurti You cannot be frightened of the unknown because you do not know what the unknown is and so there is nothing to be afraid of. Death is a word, and it is the word, the image, that creates fear. So can you look at death without the image of death? […]

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Do we really believe in impermanence?

In my own practice, I’ve really been wrestling with the Buddha’s teaching of anicca—the truth that all conditioned, fabricated, created things are impermanent and constantly change. It’s one thing to accept anicca as a truism—after all, it’s obvious that all things change and are transient. And it’s another to see something of the truth of […]

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Poem-Mary Oliver-The Hermit Crab

The Hermit Crab Mary Oliver Once I looked inside … the darkness ……of a shell folded like a pastry ………and there was a fancy face— or almost a face— …it turned away ……and frisked up its brawny forearms ………so quickly against the light …and my looking in ……I scarcely had time to see it, ………gleaming […]

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Memorial Day 2010-Poem and Song for Young Men Who Died

Here Dead We Lie A. E. Housman Here dead we lie Because we did not choose To live and shame the land From which we sprung. Life, to be sure, Is nothing much to lose, But young men think it is, And we were young. Click here to hear “Let Them In” by John Gorka: […]

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A Poem about the “severe gift” of Grief

I’ve been reading a lot of the poetry of Wendell Berry lately, and this excerpt from his poem “Rising” came to mind this morning as I thought of all those we have lost through war and other tragedies. Although the poem speaks of the burdens we carry in our hearts over loved ones lost, it […]

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Kabir-“The Time Before Death”-Poem and Music

Although my path is not the path of theism, I have greatest respect for those who follow this path with love, integrity, and compassion. My own teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, has always sought an ecumenical approach with various spiritual traditions: See: Thich Nhat Hanh on Buddhism, Mindfulness, and the Holy Spirit Buddha and Christ—Let the […]

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The Paradox of Becoming-A Deep Study of the Buddha’s Teaching

Of all the skillful writings of Thanissaro Bhikkhu, I think “The Paradox of Becoming” is probably his greatest, his magnum opus, though his “Wings to Awakening” certainly ranks right at the top as well. (see: Wings to Awakening-An Anthology from the Pali Canon) In this wonderful treatise, Thanissaro Bhikkhu has brings together all the Buddha’s […]

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There’s More to Dying Than Death-A Buddhist Perspective

“It is understandable that those who do not believe there is any reality deeper than this life, and the death that ends it, do not want to dwell on the fact of death. But if you suspect there is a way to awaken to a deeper, timeless reality that lies beyond birth and death, there […]

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Thich Nhat Hanh-No Death, No Fear (audio)

“Our greatest fear is that when we die we will become nothing. We believe we are born from nothing and that when we die we become nothing. And so we are filled with fear of annihilation. The Buddha has a very different understanding, that birth and death are notions. They are not real.” ~ Thich […]

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The Buddha on Not Getting Caught in Metaphysical Speculation

The Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta is one of the Buddha’s teachings that I have come back to again and again when I have found myself entangled in metaphysical speculation and argument with myself—and with others! In this sutta, the Buddha answers the questions of the wandering ascetic Vacchagotta on the nature of existence and uses the simile […]

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