I’ve been thinking for a while about this week’s Free the Dharma eBook; There’s more to dying than death by Lama Shenpen Hookham. You can download it here until June 1. If you prefer, you can buy a printed copy here.
I can feel my resistance. Yet all around us is talk of daily deaths, sickness, and this quiet unseen virus that can pass between us. Some of us are worried about getting sick. Some of us are taking risks,...
On Sunday 19th, Suryagupta hosted a conversation with Subhuti on ‘Life, Death and Dying’ for the London Buddhist Centre, themes that are very much with us right now.
It was an insightful and meaningful conversation, and Subhuti invited us to work as positively as we can with the challenges that the Coronavirus pandemic brings - so we hope the reflections in the interview give you inspiration to take your practice deeper.
Sangharakshita shares a story from Kalimpong about being woken up in the middle of the night to a very strange occurrence – he saw a dear friend who had passed several years earlier standing in a deep pit next to his bed. His response was to chant the Vajrasattva Mantra.
We’re several weeks into lockdown and, as we continue to explore the experience of global intentional community, today’s star is the Internet itself.
Our guests discuss the new online contexts for Buddhist practice, evoking the uses of imagination within transitional, liminal spaces. We riff on new emergent forms of practice and modes of engagement that are bringing our community to life in unexpected ways.
We also look at how surprisingly well the early promise of the...
Here Sangharakshita recounts one of the stories from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, that of The Episode of Untimely Flowers. Reflections based around the Buddha’s Parinirvana (‘death’), stress the importance of impermanence.
The Buddha’s Parinirvana marks the final passing of the Buddha two and a half millennia ago. It is an opportunity not just to contemplate on impermanence, but also to rejoice in the example of the Buddha’s life and in the precious opportunity our own lives present us with.
The Maha Parinirvana Sutra contains a fairly detailed account of the Buddha’s last months of his earthly life. It follows him step by step – where he went, who he met, how he discoursed, what teaching he gave. By the time he embarked on his last journey he knew he was going to pass away. Being the Enlightened One, he remained calm, reflecting on his last words, his last teaching.
There is something profoundly natural and ordinary about death, and yet something quite mysterious. Where do we go? What actually happens? Who or what are we when alive? Nothing changed, from the Buddha’s point of view. Vimalavajri offers reflections on the ultimate unknown, the ultimate mystery, death, inspired by the glimpses of awakening depicted in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.