One of our more recent members, Christian, who was quite committed to the meditation practise, died a couple of days ago in Bangkok. He spent two weeks in hospital with several close family members and friends before passing away.
He joined the talk of Ajahn Tiradhammo last June shortly after losing his partner to lymphoma, and took up meditation practise soon after, joining Wat Kow Tahm for 10 days, and also one of the workshops with Mike and Helge. He was keeping the meditation going quite well on his own too, and was attending CA WOW talks and some of the Mashoor’s veggie lunches.
Reflection on dying is a common practise in Buddhism, called maranusati. The H.H. Dalai Lama once described Life as a preparation for dying. If you call inot mind your volatile existence, and how precarious is your health and life, then your priorities should change. Silly arguements and frivolous passtimes become less important. And to a meditator, it becomes more urgent to train the mind while the chance is here.
Tibetan Buddhism in particular has a range of practises specifically designed to aid with the dying process and transition to a new form of consciousness, one of which is reported on in a recent blog. Losing friends and family is another time to reflect on the dying process. All of us are marked to pass away, and if the teachings are right, we have all done it countless times already. The only question is the timing, and can it ever really be good timing?
When we are young we are taught the ‘facts of life’, and when we are a little older we put them into action. Too often people only call upon their religion as they are passing away, and call upon the monks or clergy of their faith to explain the ‘facts of dying’. It is a worthy reflection here and now, while we have the health, time and opportunity to practise, to re-arrange our priorities.
Those who know how, please dedicate your merits to Christian and send loving kindness.