[Buddha-l] Being unable to imagine dying and living

Jim Peavler jmp at peavler.org
Sun Jun 27 13:20:14 MDT 2010

On Jun 27, 2010, at 10:14 AM, sjziobro at cs.com wrote:

> I've been reading portions of this thread and have a question.  Why would death be inconceivable?  It seems easy to conceive, but not possible to experience it while not experiencing it.  Aren't there practices in the early traditions where a monk or meditator visualizes his death and the dissolution of the skandas?  Isn't this a form of conceiving of death?

Absolutely. One cannot experience death, but one can certainly meditate on death (or emptiness for that matter) and put one's mind in a state that, it is believed, reproduces the experience of death (or emptiness).

Emptiness may be nothing more than the notion that nothing has any permanent existence -- the past doesn't exist, the future doesn't exist, and the present moment -- which doesn't actually exist as something different from either the past or present, is very difficult to conceive. The present instant (which probably doesn't actually exist except as a conceptual moving line between the past and the future) is very difficult to pin down enough to actually think about. A lot of my hours of meditation have been spent trying to focus on that spark of instantaneousness, with mixed results.

jmp at peavler.org

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