Douglass Smith on Buddhism and Mortality
Doug's Dharma

Douglass Smith on Buddhism and Mortality

In this talk explores ’s approach to accepting mortality through , aiming for from death rather than literal immortality.

Doug explains that the , in his quest for , moved beyond promising eternal life, instead focusing on meditation practices that bring one closer to the self and cessation of .

He discusses various meditation practices, such as charnal and the deep meditative absorption of the fourth jhana, which help individuals accept mortality by reducing and avoidance of death.

The Buddha’s early meditation teachers from Brahminic or Upanishadic backgrounds aimed for union with the universal principle, but the Buddha found these teachings insufficient and continued his search for deeper understanding.

The fourth jhana is highlighted for its state of beyond pleasure and pain, symbolizing death through its analogy of wrapping the in white cloth.

The cessation of and feeling, a deep meditative state, is directly compared to death, illustrating Buddhism’s with states akin to death.

Doug also discusses charnal ground contemplations, where practitioners meditate on decaying bodies to confront their mortality and .

This practice, akin to exposure therapy, reduces fear and helps individuals accept the transient nature of life.

Overall, Doug emphasizes Buddhism’s focus on overcoming the for rebirth and the fear of death, guiding practitioners toward , or freedom from death.

Through these meditative practices, Buddhism aims to foster acceptance and equanimity regarding mortality.

References

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