Friday, April 02, 2010

Death Meditation

Rinpoche came in and delivered a stunning Dharma talk - as usual. For me, it just pulled in the focus tremendously. He began by saying that people do Dharma for three different scopes of motivation. The biggest scope was for Enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. The middle scope was for happiness in this life and other lives. The lowest scope was to improve our business, our family life, relationships. Rinpoche explained that no matter which scope we had, it was still Dharma.

He asked - do we have difficulty choosing Dharma over secular life? Do we have trouble changing our habits for the better? Do we gain intellectual knowledge about Dharma but our minds don't change? If we have actualised death meditation, we would immediately change. We would be kind. We would work in the Dharma.

The reason why we do not choose Dharma over secular, Rinpoche said, was because we have wrongly placed value on Dharma. For something that we see has value to us, we will do anything, climb any mountain, cross every stream. Rinpoche gave a cute analogy. He said, if we were driving on our way to another town to collect 10 million dollars, if we have a puncture, would we just give up? No! We'd beg, borrow or steal something somehow to get over there.

We'd walk if we had to. We wouldn't give up. Because we see value in 10 million dollars.

When we don't know the value of something, when we are ignorant, we quit easily. We are lazy, we run away when things get difficult.

How much Dharma you do and how much you transform is 100% dependent on whether you do the death meditation. Rinpoche explained it very easily like this. We can always debate if God exists, or Buddha exists. Some people believe, some don't. But everyone believes in death. Everyone knows that they will die.

Rinpoche then took us through a death meditation where we imagined our senses closing down one by one, then our bodies being prepared for the coffin. We see ourselves from inside the coffin looking at the four walls around us. We imagine the soil being thrown on top of the coffin until we're fully buried and our bodies will never leave that box ever again.

If we are being cremated, Rinpoche said, then imagine our bodies melting like wax in the furnace. And everything we are just becomes dust.

Believe in death, Rinpoche said.

When you do Dharma work, you benefit yourself, your loved ones and those around you. If you're in Dharma and you experience problems, it purifies the karma for impatience, for failure, for anger. If you are not working in Dharma and you experience problems, it doesn't purify anything. You are just experiencing your karma.

I remember Rinpoche mentioning before about Dharma work where he said if you work in Dharma or if you don't work in Dharma, you will still come across obstacles. The difference is that when you are in Dharma, you suffer to benefit others. When you are not in Dharma, you are suffering to benefit yourself.

Rinpoche also talked about KWPC - our future spiritual retreat land and institution of alternative arts. KWPC stands for Kechara World Peace Centre, and was formerly known as Tsem Kachö Ling (TKL). Recently, the liaisons decided to change the name to be aligned with the Kechara organisation and for the name to be easily understood and not require extensive explanations. Voila!

Kechara will be having a get together with the members and Liaisons to explain the scope and objective of KWPC on April 10th. Rinpoche has a big vision and to achieve it, we all need to be aligned with it. It's really time to give back. We have gained so much from Rinpoche - from gifts to meals to movies to massages and of course the ultimate gift of Dharma. What have we given Rinpoche (except heartache and stress!). It's time to give back.

I won't mention so much of what he said here about KWPC and save it for another day! Rock on April 10th!

Watch this space.


Sky Dancer said...

Thank you so much for this so important and very useful writing Sharon.

skywalker said...

Thank you Sharon for sharing.
i always prepare for death in anytime, but i've never heard of death meditation until i come across this post.
Cheers n peace.