Death contemplation

Thank you so much for this reference. Bikku Bodhi’s wisdom is profound. Yet just like the questioner, I too am a little confused aabout the stream of consciousness which persists after death. The Death Consciousness must be profound, and I have read elsewhere about these stages descibed from a Tibetan perspective which may or may not coincide with our Theravadan description.

Does anyone have a suggestion as to how this Death Meditation might sound? As in " I am here for only a little while"? “I am not permanent”?
Thank you all for your help!
NOTE TO MODS: Delete if too off topic.


I found Ajahn Achalos guided meditation very helpful/powerful when I needed it the most❤️



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@Rosie try searching the term maranasati, e.g.:

  • Q&A with Bhikkhu Analayo (who studied with Bhikkhu Bodhi)
  • Guided meditation also by Bhikkhu Analayo

You might also be interested in the four protective meditations (1. recollection of the Buddha, 2. meditation on loving-kindness, 3. mindfulness of the bodily parts, and 4. recollection of death) more generally.


Hi @rosie,

Hope you are doing great!

There are also some awesome guided meditations on death contemplation by Ajahn Brahmali on YouTube, for example this:

With Metta,


Hi Rosie! Hope your doing well! You know I love contemplations on death right? It’s the old goth in me :skull:

Check out my YouTube for some
guided contemplations:

Five Frequent Reflections

Contemplating Death (talk and guided meditation)

Discussing Samvega and guided Nine Cemetery Contemplations

Nine Cemetery Contemplations

And related to your question above (I am here for only a little while"? “I am not permanent”?), You might also like my version of the Four Elements Contemplation where we investigate impermanence and death.

Four Elements Contemplation

All the best. :skull:


Yes, I am doing my best to remain disenchanted. :grin: Thanks, my friend!
Metta back.

Hey Bhante, so good to hear from you, and I hope you are doing very well!
And I promise not to call you the “Old Goth Bhante”! LOL

And thanks to you all. I now have plenty of study material to keep me busy.
Wonderful! Gracias All with Metta!


Note: Knowing-and-seeing (jānāti, passati) “impermanent, suffering, not-self” (anicca, dukkha, anatta) is not a “Death contemplation”, according to SN/SA suttas.

The Buddha also teaches the practice of ānāpānasati (“mindfulness by in- and out-breathing”), and guarding the sense-doors (indriyesu guttadvāro), instead of “impure” (asubha) contemplation.

Luang Poo Tate’s book, Words of the Master, contains a talk on Marina Sati that you may find useful. The book is available as a PDF on the SCRIBD website and on Archive.Org

What is “Marina Sati”?

Mindfulness of the ocean, perhaps? :ocean:

You could probably use the context clues here to work out that it’s just a typo. And if you already knew it was a typo… well, enough said.

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What is “mindfulness of the ocean”?

I consider “Death contemplation” is simply not Buddhism, according to SN/SA suttas.

Can you explain what Bikkhu Bodhi said about consciousness at death so I can be sure you understood it as the questioner did ?

Thank you, but your comment is a little confusing to this novice. Could you explain your statement, please and thank you.

And if you are referring to the video link That was recommended to me, I didn’t hear much of anything about death consciousness?

And …yes, what is it?

As Bhante suggested, it’s a misspelling of maranasati.

@thomaslaw Please understand that we have diverse users, with varying competency in English and varying knowledge of Buddhism. Your little dig ended up confusing the OP.

@Rosie - Bhante was making a joke while giving an opportunity to thomaslaw to correct his behavior. Sati is usually translated as mindfulness, so “marina sati” would be mindfulness of marinas, as in, mindfulness of harbors, or mindfulness of the ocean.


Ah Buddhist humor going over my head. DUH!
Thanks and good morning Elisabetta, your moderating skills shine through!
Still…mindfulness of the ocean is some kind of useful metaphor, no?


I refer to:

According to SN/SA suttas, knowing-and-seeing (jānāti, passati) the five aggregates/the sense spheres as they really are as “impermanent, suffering, not-self” (anicca, dukkha, anatta) is not a “Death contemplation”.

No such a term or teaching on “Death contemplation” is found in the SN/SA suttas, or has a Samyutta/Samyukta topic.

Also, instead of “impure” (asubha) contemplation, the Buddha in SN/SA suttas teaches the practice of ānāpānasati (“mindfulness by in- and out-breathing”), and guarding the sense-doors (indriyesu guttadvāro).

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Thank you, but that makes me wonder why it is mentioned so often by those aforementioned Venerables.

They just follow “impure ” (asubha) contemplation for the Death contemplation, which is just a mental projection/imagination.

Only knowing-seeing anicca, dukkha, anatta (for the cessation of desire-hatred-delusion) is based on true insight of the real world (i.e. ‘right view’).

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