using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Spring 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly SPRING 2 0 09 44 Buddhadharma: Could others speak to the teachings in their traditions concerning what happens after death? ajahn amaro: In the standard Theravada texts, it’s less spelled out than it is in the Tibetan texts, but there is the recognition that the faculties fade out one by one at the moment of death, with hearing being the final one to go. A friend of ours is dying in the hospital near here, and even though he’s not been responsive, throughout the day people have been chanting and reading aloud the cards he’s received. We’re doing that based on the understanding that the hearing faculty can still be operating even if vision is gone and the conceptual thought faculty is compromised. And because there is still hearing, someone can not only take in words of the teachings but also connect with others gathered around. PonloP rinPoche: In the Vajrayana, many people sing dohas, spontaneous songs of realization, and as we sing, which is a practice, we receive many instructions on the nature of mind. Some years ago, a friend of mine in England had a friend who was dying from Alzheimer’s. At that point she didn’t remember anything or recognize anyone, so the only thing they could do together was sing songs from her childhood that they both knew. She remembered the words perfectly. It occured to me then that singing yogic songs of realization about the nature of mind, and practicing and resting in the nature of mind through singing, can be really beneficial and helpful even when you have Alzheimer’s. ajahn amaro: Another principle we recognize is that what the mind fixates on at the end has a strong effect on what the future destination might be, but it’s not wholly incumbent on that. There’s an interesting teaching called “reappearance through aspiration,” which partly echoes Chozen’s recom- mendation to listen to the advice of the Buddha from the Mahanama Sutta, where he says that just as oil floats upward in water, so too will your goodness rise to the surface. I often give that kind of teaching to people as an encourage- ment. In his teaching on “reappearance through aspiration,” the Buddha says if you really want to gravitate to another particular realm, you can do that through the power of your mind. But this kind of activity is for the virtuous, not the unvirtuous. You have to have done your homework and not have too many outstanding debts, as it were. PonloP rinPoche: That’s very true. ajahn amaro: For those who have developed virtue and are intent on gravitating to a particular realm—back to the human realm or to a different realm of being—the Buddha gives teachings of how to focus the mind on that particular realm and to bring that to mind at the very end of life. Generally speaking, you guide someone according to their capacity and background. If someone is a Christian or if they’ve been a Buddhist but don’t really have much of a meditation practice, you wouldn’t speak to them about refined details of meditation or expect them to focus the mind in a Forever, 1990 by Alavi Seyed photo:AlAviseyed