The purpose of this meditation is to generate a strong recognition of the fact that this body will die, and everything that I consider ‘my life’ will end. We then consider what would be the best way to think about our body and life.

I began by thinking about the faults of samsara, and wishing to be free from its suffering. I made the decision to meditate on death so that I can free myself from the mistaken appearance of my body.

I started with visualising all living beings around me, and generated love and compassion for them. I then visualised all the Buddhas and other holy beings in front of me, smiling at me with great kindness. I developed respect and faith for them. I then visualised us all in a pure land, filled with beauty and peace, and with the holy beings enjoying pure offerings.

I then did some breathing meditation to calm my mind.

head in the sunsetFollowing this, I began by thinking about how I normally grasp on to my body thinking that this is me. If I say ‘I am here’ I would gesture to my chest – I strongly identify with my body as being me. But what is this body? It is a heavy, fleshy lump. When it dies, it will quickly start to decompose and become an object of revulsion. It will be unclean and need to be disposed of. It will turn into mush and slop, before drying out and turning into dust. No matter how much care I take of it, in the end it will let me down. It will never give me a final reward of eternal life. It is ageing and decaying before my very eyes.

I considered how my body is going to die, and if I identify myself with my body, then of course, everything that I call my life will also terminate. There will be a complete and utter end to my life. Everything will disappear. Not even a memory will remain. Not even the structure into which life and memories fit will remain. For me, nothing will remain.

I decided that rather than identifying with my ordinary body and mind, I would identify with my Buddha nature – the perfect stillness and tranquility of my mind. And not only that, I would identify with the emptiness of this mind.

Because my body will definitely die, I shall stop identifying with it, and instead identify with my pure Buddha nature. I focused on this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings understand that their body will die, and stop clining so strongly to it, and through this recognition, become pure holy beings for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to identify completely with my Buddha nature rather than my fleshy body, and be less attached to it.