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Thread: Zen and The Art of Death (living)

  1. #1

    Smile Zen and The Art of Death (living)

    Hi All,

    I have had a series of family members and friends die over the past few years. Quite a few in fact. Most recently, two nights ago, our family dog was put down. As I am stuck in Vietnam, I was not able to get home and say 'goodbye'. SO grateful I could through Zoom at least . Wonderful!

    I am overwhelmed with grief and sadness, there is a part of me that feels empty but gratitude, joy and warm smiles sneak through it all. The moon is shining through the clouds so to speak. I am sure many, if not all of you have gone through some variation of bereavement.

    I though it might be of value to open a discussion about death 'The Zen Way". Selfishly, it would help me cope but more importantly, there will likely be some real golden nuggets of wisdom in this thread for all.

    Much love,

    Gassho

    Ippo

    SatLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-10-2021 at 09:18 AM.

  2. #2


    Death is tragic, breaks the heart, sad to see loved ones go.

    We Zen folks also do not believe in death (birth either, or any coming and going).

    All true at once. We are strange folks that way.

    Please allow yourself this time of grief, and remember your friend.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Ippo View Post
    Hi All,

    I have had a series of family members and friends die over the past few years. Quite a few in fact. Most recently, two nights ago, our family dog was put down. As I am stuck in Vietnam, I was not able to get home and say 'goodbye'. SO grateful I could through Zoom at least . Wonderful!

    I am overwhelmed with grief and sadness, there is a part of me that feels empty but gratitude, joy and warm smiles sneak through it all. The moon is shining through the clouds so to speak. I am sure many, if not all of you have gone through some variation of bereavement.

    I though it might be of value to open a discussion about death 'The Zen Way". Selfishly, it would help me cope but more importantly, there will likely be some real golden nuggets of wisdom in this thread for all.

    Much love,

    Gassho

    Ippo

    SatLah
    It is quite something to realize that the only certain thing about this life, is the thing we dread the most. I like to think of death as our “returning home”, away from sensory pleasures and attachments, fully a part of everything, as we always were. Sure, there is sadness at the loss of someone, but there should also be peace and stillness, because nothing and no one in this world disappears, since there is nowhere to disappear to.

    SatToday
    Bion
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bion View Post
    It is quite something to realize that the only certain thing about this life, is the thing we dread the most. I like to think of death as our “returning home”, away from sensory pleasures and attachments, fully a part of everything, as we always were. Sure, there is sadness at the loss of someone, but there should also be peace and stillness, because nothing and no one in this world disappears, since there is nowhere to disappear to.

    SatToday
    Bion said it nicer than me.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Bion said it nicer than me.



    SatToday
    Bion
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  6. #6
    I have no wise words for you Ippo. After 16 months of dealing with this Covid pandemic I think most of us have been confronted with death and due to distancing rules been unable to gather with loved ones and friends to share our grief.

    I am sorry of your losses including the recent loss of your family’s dog.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bion View Post
    It is quite something to realize that the only certain thing about this life, is the thing we dread the most. I like to think of death as our “returning home”, away from sensory pleasures and attachments, fully a part of everything, as we always were. Sure, there is sadness at the loss of someone, but there should also be peace and stillness, because nothing and no one in this world disappears, since there is nowhere to disappear to.

    SatToday


    Gassho
    Sat

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bion View Post
    It is quite something to realize that the only certain thing about this life, is the thing we dread the most. I like to think of death as our “returning home”, away from sensory pleasures and attachments, fully a part of everything, as we always were. Sure, there is sadness at the loss of someone, but there should also be peace and stillness, because nothing and no one in this world disappears, since there is nowhere to disappear to.
    "There is one thing in life that you can always rely on: life being as it is."

    Beautifully said, Bion. Admittedly, death keeps me awake at night. Has for 30 years—from the very moment I first experienced it. Yet, without it, life wouldn't be life. We should give thanks for the opportunity that we have to be so lucky as to experience it in totality.

    Gassho,
    Koushi

    STLaH
    広 Kou (Vast)
    髭 Shi (Beard)

  9. #9
    Today i had a strong experience during zazen, about life and death. At one point one question came : "do you want to live or not" ? And the answer came on its own, just after the question : a resounding yes, with a lot of joy pouring all over my body. Even with suffering, even with anxiety, even struggling with my own thoughts, there was this fundamental and incredible joy of being alive.

    So now i understand that it is possible to feel joy in the middle of suffering !

    For me it's a great discovery, i know that it might sound "carebear" or a bit cheesy, and i know that i should not cling to that experience and all of this is passing and thoughts play, but i just wanted to share this for people who, maybe, struggle a bit with life right now.

    Gassho,

    Uggy,
    Sat today
    About to LAH

  10. #10
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Hey Uggy, Congratulations,Good news; just sit

    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  12. #12
    And again today ! It's unbelievable ! I begin sitting in the midst of strong emotions, anxiety, etc. And i let it all go its course, but really, meaning i don't touch anything, even if it's horribly difficult and i feel like feelings will destroy me, i just completely surrender. And then after a while a tremendous joy comes over me. I know i must keep my head cool and not cling to this, as struggling is my main way of dealing with difficulties and it won't go away in a day or two... It's like letting go of negative energies that are stored within me, and this lets joy pouring out. I feel like i still have a lot of "inside cleaning" to do, though, basically, a lifetime of stored crap inside me will need time to unfold, but it's the first time, after 7 years of practice, that i really let go.

    Uggy,

    Sat today,
    LAH
    Last edited by Ugrok; 07-12-2021 at 09:37 AM.

  13. #13
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  14. #14


    Gassho
    SatTodayLah

  15. #15
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bion View Post
    It is quite something to realize that the only certain thing about this life, is the thing we dread the most. I like to think of death as our “returning home”, away from sensory pleasures and attachments, fully a part of everything, as we always were. Sure, there is sadness at the loss of someone, but there should also be peace and stillness, because nothing and no one in this world disappears, since there is nowhere to disappear to.

    SatToday
    Thank you Bion, wisely said.

    sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Seishin View Post
    Thank you Bion, wisely said.

    sat


    SatToday lah
    Bion
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  17. #17

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