by Ajahn Nyanamoli Thero
Thaniyo: I was wondering if you could speak about the contemplation of death—how should we think about death?
The world is beaten down by death
and surrounded by old age.
The dart of craving has laid it low,
and it’s always fuming with desire.
(Thag 6:13, 2nd verse).
Nyanamoli: Walking, standing, sitting or lying down, you should be dwelling on the ultimate context, which is what death is. It’s the ultimate context of your life—it’s a non-negotiable context. Because people might think: “I must be going through the motions and methods of practicing mindfulness of death, thinking about it when I’m walking, sitting…” That’s true only in the sense that you need to discern the most fundamental, always present possibility of death, which is what makes it such an ultimate context of your life. Everything else within your life can come and go—what has been or could have not been—all these things. But one thing is for sure: when life is there, death is guaranteed, as the final outcome of it.
The reason why people would be pressed and oppressed—by their desires, by their intentions, unskillful actions—is because they turn a blind eye to … Read the rest