Hail to the Teachings
MEDITATIONS ON DEATH AND REBIRTH
Preliminaries and Dedication
Death: Highway Car Accident
Death: 9-Point Death Meditation
Precious Human Rebirth: Look at Others
Precious Human Rebirth: Appreciate Your Life
Precious Human Rebirth: 8 Freedoms and 10 Endowments
PRELIMINARIES AND DEDICATION
In order to make the most out of the following analytical meditations, it is
important to realise that one should not only observe the analytical mind, but
also the emotions and feelings that come up.
Iit is strongly advised to start with a good motivation beforehand, to take a few minutes to calm down (doing e.g. a brief breathing meditation is very good) and to dedicate the positive energy afterwards.
For this, the following traditional prayers can be used:
I go for refuge to the Buddha,
I go for refuge to the Dharma,
I go for refuge to the Sangha. (3x)
Setting the Mind to Enlightenment
By virtue of giving and so forth,
may I become a Buddha for the benefit of all sentient beings. (3x)
May all sentient beings have equanimity, free from attachment, aggression
May they be happy, and have the causes for happiness.
May they be free from suffering and causes for suffering.
May they never be separated from the happiness that is free from suffering. (3x)
Respectfully I prostrate with body, speech and mind;
I present clouds of every type of offerings, actual and imagined;
I declare all the negative actions I have done since beginningless time,
and rejoice in the merit of all Aryas and ordinary beings.
Please teacher, remain until cyclic existence ends
and turn the wheel of Dharma for all sentient beings.
I dedicate the virtues of myself and others to the great Enlightenment.
By this virtue may I soon
reach a Guru-Buddha-state,
and lead each and every being
to that state of Buddhahood.
May the precious Bodhicitta
not yet born, arise and grow
may that born have no decline
but increase forever more.
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HIGHWAY CAR ACCIDENT
- Imagine driving in a car on a highway at 200 kilometers per hour.
- The car has no breaks, but I know that somewhere in the middle of this road is a concrete wall which I cannot avoid.
- This is exactly the situation of our life.
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9-POINT DEATH MEDITATION
1. Death is certain:
a. There is no escape
b. Life has a limit, each moment brings me closer
c. Death can come in a moment and fully unexpected
2. The time of death is uncertain:
a. My lifespan is uncertain
b. There are many causes for death, few for sustenance of life
c. My body is fragile; even a thorn can kill me with an infection
3. What can help me at the moment of death?
a. Wealth, possessions?
b. Relatives and friends?
c. My own body? Only my positive karma from practicing dharma can help!
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LOOK AT OTHERS
- Think of other human beings: how many have so little worries about food,
shelter, clothing etc as me?
- How many are stuck in wars?
- How many are stuck in a famine or scarcity of food and water?
- How many live in a country with freedom of life philosophy and religion?
- How many have the opportunity to study other philosophies and religions?
- How many are interested in their future after this life?
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APPRECIATE YOUR LIFE
- How do I think about myself? What is my life like, my personality, my
- Do I have a feeling of inferiority, disappointment, hopelessness or do I feel good?
- Remember previous times of depression or disappointment and decide that I want to get rid of these dark feelings.
- How are most other people on this earth doing, suffering from hunger, war, sickness, fear, repression?
- What chances do most people have to get happiness?
- Imagine yourself in some of these situations: I am sick, in a war, desperate with hunger..
- Now remember the positive sides of my life; healthy body and mind, family and friends, living in a free country, no hunger or poverty.
- What could I do with my life; travel, work, study, enjoy myself
- All nice things, but does it really make me happy?
- Is happiness the amount of my possessions or the amount of memories of my travels, or is it simply a state of my mind?
- I can decide to be a bit more happy and satisfied with what I have and who I am.
- I have to start here and now; stop complaining; behind the clouds the sun always shines!
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8 FREEDOMS & 10 ENDOWMENTS
Remember that right now I have the 8 freedoms:
1. I am not in hell being continuously tortured
2. I am not living as a hungry ghost, always having hunger and thirst
3. I am not an ignorant animal
4. I have some feeling for good and bad
5. I am able to study religion
6. The teachings of the buddha are now available
7. I have a healthy mind, not crazy
8. I am not a god, only indulging in pleasures
Remember that right now I have the 10 endowments:
- 5 Personal:
1. I am a human being
2. I have access to the teachings of the Buddha
3. I have all my organs
4. I have not killed my parents or bodhisattvas etc.
5. I have the possibility to choose my life philosophy or religion freely
- 5 Circumstantial:
6. A Buddha has come in this era
7. He has taught the Dharma
8. The Dharma is still available in the world
9. People are still practicing Dharma
10. Others generally have love in their hearts
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Last updated: April 11, 2001