Buddhist reflections on death, by Bhante G
Extract from above
"In the Anguttara Nikaya the Buddha has said, “Oh Monks, there are ten ideas,
which if made to grow, made much of, are of great fruit, of great profit for
plunging into Nibbana, for ending up in Nibbana.” Of these ten, one is
death. Contemplation on death and on other forms of sorrow such as old age,
and disease, constitutes a convenient starting point for the long line of
investigation and meditation that will ultimately lead to Reality. This is
exactly what happened in the case of the Buddha. Was it not the sight of an
old man followed by the sight of a sick man and thereafter the sight of a
dead man that made Prince Siddhattha, living in the lap of luxury, to give
up wife and child, home and the prospect of a kingdom, and to embark on a
voyage of discovery of truth, a voyage that ended in the glory of Buddhahood
and the bliss of Nibbana?
The marked disinclination of the average man to advert to the problem of
death, the distaste that arouses in him the desire to turn away from it
whenever the subject is broached, are all due to the weakness of the human
mind, sometimes occasioned by fear, sometimes by tanha or selfishness, but
at all times supported by ignorance (avijja). The disinclination to
understand death, is no different from the disinclination of a man to
subject himself to a medical check-up although he feels that something is
wrong with him. We must learn to value the necessity to face facts. Safety
always lies in truth. The sooner we know our condition the safer are we, for
we can then take the steps necessary for our betterment. The saying, “where
ignorance is bliss it is folly to be wise” has no application here. To live
with no thought of death is to live in a fool’s paradise. Visuddhi Magga
“Now when a man is truly wise,
His constant task will surely be,
This recollection about death,
Blessed with such mighty potency.”
Although this isn’t EBT based, this short 15 minute video speaks to how to respond to the ‘unbearable’ in the present moment, and that the transformation of it is possible, by looking deeply into suffering.
At the 2 minute mark he speaks of having many options for joy in the present moment, that one can choose, though usually people choose to ‘run away’ from unpleasantness . By instead focusing on it, one can care and transform the present moment even if it is unbearable. This reminds me of the Story Ajahn Brahm has told of someone falling from a cliff - and on the way down seeing a beautiful strawberry growing and appreciating it - in the present moment.
It also makes links to virtue towards the end.