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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Death & The Afterlife

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  #1  
Old 15-10-2018, 06:37 PM
sattvicmonkey sattvicmonkey is offline
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Meditating on your own death?

Are there any good techniques to meditate on your own death?

I know 'intellectually' that I will die some time in the future, but I don't really 'live' it or experience it.

They say the only thing guarenteed is death and I often find my thoughts going towards it.

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 17-10-2018, 10:30 PM
Armadodecadron Armadodecadron is offline
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Why do you want this? Can you be more specific as to your motivations?
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  #3  
Old 19-10-2018, 01:53 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sattvicmonkey
Are there any good techniques to meditate on your own death?

I know 'intellectually' that I will die some time in the future, but I don't really 'live' it or experience it.

They say the only thing guarenteed is death and I often find my thoughts going towards it.

Thanks,

If you are really interested, research "conscious sleep" (Yoga nidra, chetan nidra). That meditation technique allows an entity to remain aware in deep sleep and watch dream formation from start to finish as well as the transition between states (deep sleep, dream state, so-called waking state).

According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the process of dying/incarnation is very similar to the process of going to sleep and then manifesting either as a dream-object or in the physical world as deep sleep ends. In deep sleep, thoughts dissolve completely as the ego is temporarily "dead". If one dreams, a dream world arises with dream objects after which that too dies. When one wakes up, the physical world appears and dies again when deep sleep comes.

The Indian sage Ramana Maharshi had a life-transforming experience in which he "viewed" his own death and funeral. After that, he came to realization of the nature of reality and became one of the most revered sages of India. You might want to check him out as well.
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  #4  
Old 24-10-2018, 08:48 PM
sattvicmonkey sattvicmonkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armadodecadron
Why do you want this? Can you be more specific as to your motivations?
I just thought if it's guaranteed to happen it might be good to ruminate on it instead of ignore it or put it off for later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_Waters
If you are really interested, research "conscious sleep" (Yoga nidra, chetan nidra). That meditation technique allows an entity to remain aware in deep sleep and watch dream formation from start to finish as well as the transition between states (deep sleep, dream state, so-called waking state).

According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the process of dying/incarnation is very similar to the process of going to sleep and then manifesting either as a dream-object or in the physical world as deep sleep ends. In deep sleep, thoughts dissolve completely as the ego is temporarily "dead". If one dreams, a dream world arises with dream objects after which that too dies. When one wakes up, the physical world appears and dies again when deep sleep comes.

The Indian sage Ramana Maharshi had a life-transforming experience in which he "viewed" his own death and funeral. After that, he came to realization of the nature of reality and became one of the most revered sages of India. You might want to check him out as well.

This is fascinating, thank you.
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  #5  
Old 25-10-2018, 06:51 PM
SkyKisser SkyKisser is offline
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I try to meditate on my death. It's called die before you die. It can help strip away all that's not you. I meditate and imagine myself in a casket , what I would look like. The people there and what they would say about me. I haven't done it that often but I think I will start meditating on it more often. I think if you do it right you will fear death less.
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  #6  
Old 26-10-2018, 06:52 PM
Lumpino Lumpino is offline
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I'd rather do meditation on my next life. After death.
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  #7  
Old 29-10-2018, 10:58 PM
SkyKisser SkyKisser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpino
I'd rather do meditation on my next life. After death.

Hey that's a good idea , I've never thought about that. That would make for an interesting meditation.
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  #8  
Old 30-10-2018, 07:11 AM
soulforce soulforce is offline
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I'm going to be the voice of dissent and say you won't experience your death. Dying yes, but not your death. I don't know if you believe in an afterlife or not, but your consciousness transcends bodily death. You can imagine yourself being dead, but the act of imagining in order to experience any sensation remotely close to being dead requires the ability to experience something. To experience anything negates the idea that your dead.

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  #9  
Old 30-10-2018, 10:46 AM
Mitodin Mitodin is offline
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Bit late to the party, but I will offer my two cents anyway:

Yes there is - meditating on death is, imho, a profound technique. I would not recommend afterlife meditation myself, but that is perhaps because my imagination does not go further than seeing it as idle fantasy.

Meditation death though, is quite meaningful because, as existential therapist Irvin Yalom put it, "it is not possible to leave death to the dying" - Psychologically speaking, it is an unavoidable presence in life that we have a persistent, albeit often suppressed, relationship with. And having a healthy and conscious relationship with the spectre of death is in fact an opening to the present fact of our life in a very direct manner that can alleviate the existential angst that most people invest truckloads of energy into repressing, when the very same energy could be opened up and used as one of the most profound catalysts for authenticity and urgency in our life. As Yalom put it "the physicality of death destroys man, but the idea of death saves him."

As for death meditation, I would recommend a simple reflection to open with: "I am of the nature to die, as are all living things." - A sort of baseline reminder that death is a natural pattern in the world to be accepted and not a uniquely tragic event in your own personal narrative.

From there, there are 2 angles to contemplate: Death as a mirror for life and Death as a fear of the unknown.

In the first, you just conjure up scenarios of "what if get hit by a bus tomorrow?" or "what if I die of a heart stop a year from now" - whatever scenario you can work with - And hold that up as a mirror for your present life and see what such an event would tell you about the current state of affairs. At first, you may find yourself in some "oh ****, I've wasted my life" scenarios and feel an urgent need to clean up your act, as you realised how much energy you've wasted because you assumed (or, as you may come to discover in the second part, deeply wanted to assume) that you had plenty of time in the future to do all that stuff you wanted to do, or time in the future to become the person you wanted to.

Use that energy, without overdoing it. Dose it on one thing at a time, else you'll end up overwhelming yourself with the immensity of having to live up to the totality of your existential responsibility overnight, which is not a doable task. Over time, you will find that this energy and urgency channels itself not so much into the zeal for making changes as it does the urgency for devoting yourself more fully to what is on your plate. But use the energy as it comes to you, without trying to make it something other than what it is.

As you may be able to tell, this is not a meditation you can do in a discrete sessions and then go about your day. The meditation session is just to light the fuse properly, so you can carry the mindfulness of death with you in your daily life.

The second aspect of the meditation is engaging with the fear of death itself in a more investigative manner and beginning to discover the strategies our minds have conjured up to avoid the fear of death. The classic one is simply irrational disbelief - Acting as if death is not in the cards and that there will always be time in the future to do the things that really matter. This is how frightening death is to us at a gut level - We would rather take the things that are so important to us and push them into the future instead of now, just to feed the belief that we actually have a future to do it in. Not very logical to the logical brain, but the emotional brain has its own set of rules and its own natural logic.

So this second aspect of the meditation is to, in similar visualizations to before, conjure up your own death in a way that you begin to feel that fear of it and feed that enough that you can maintain contact to that fear. And then, as if you were a therapist and that fear was a client afraid to open up, you ask gentle and empathic and open-ended questions of it, inviting it to find its voice. It could be questions like "what is it about death that frightens you so?" or "can you tell me some of the things you've done to avoid facing death?" and then listening for your inner voice to speak.

This requires some practise in letting go and stillness and some attunement to your intuitive inner dialogue. I would recommend only starting on this second aspect of death meditation after having familiarised oneself with the first mirroring practise.

Overall, I'd say meditation on death is more of an existential life choice than a method. But if you feel like giving it a go, give it a go! I'd recommend sharing some of your experiences. It is a possibility for some of this to go into overdrive and start down some borderline traumatising paths if you are not careful. So if you experience anguish or difficulties in the process, do reach out.

Best wishes
A / Mitodin
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  #10  
Old 30-10-2018, 09:21 PM
soulforce soulforce is offline
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We're all afraid of dying. I don't think that's unique to any individual, but some of us have a misunderstanding about the implications of death. If we look at death from an atheistic or a naturalistic perspective. It is the end of your consciousness. Another words you can experience dying, but you can't experience being dead. Your ability to perceive space time ends at the inception of death. You cannot go beyond that point.

Hence it doesn't matter what your system of belief is and what you think about the afterlife, no one will experience death itself. Some one who was dying of cystic fibrosis who spent her entire life readying herself for death said this when she almost died.

"How much you feel about dying is instinctual, how much it's your brain trying to save your ***... it doesn't matter how many times you thought about death. How many times you think you're okay with it, when it happens. Every single cell in your body is telling you, go back to being alive".

Here is the whole video of Claire Winelands inspiring testimony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz9L6WobD4s

As an individual who believes consciousness survives bodily death. Beautifying your life is more valuable than preparing for an event that requires no preparation. Focus on living your life without the fear of death. When the moment comes for your body to die, know that your soul will be okay. Everything at the beginning and end is instinctual but in between is the soul's domain.
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