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Buddhism Essays and Homework
1.      Buddhist believe that death is a teacher. Would you agree?
2.      What are the advantages or benefits of meditating on one's own death? Are there disadvantages?
3.      Which do you think is the more important question: What happens when I die? or What is happening now?

1.  Yes, I certainly believe that death is a great teacher for us all, not only in regards of what comes next, but in our every day lives too.  Burying our heads in the sand and hiding from this reality misses out on the opportunity to learn some of the greatest lessons of life.

2.  Contemplating that there is only this one certainty in life for us all, death, should make us live our lives more compassionately and mindfully.  It is the greatest teacher about he impermanent nature of this existence, and this  helps us not to waste our precious lives.  It should also teach us to be more respectful of others lives as we acknowledge that we all face this same journey.  Nevertheless, one needs to be guided carefully in one's meditations as if one approaches such deep meditations incorrectly it could be the cause of a feeling of depression and pointlessness.  

3.  An interesting question as I believe that from a Buddhist point of view the journey is a continuum and death and life are no different - both are events on a continuing journey.  Also, to use the word "die" or "death" suggests something finite, which is not what we as Buddhists believe.  There is not beginning or end.  However, if I accept the term in the sense in which I presume it is meant, one could argue that, as our actions now are the cause of the karma which will decide what happens after we leave our bodies, what is happening now should be more important.  Conversely, an understanding of what happens when I leave my body this time will also influence how I live this life now.

M D Vickers

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