Message Boards Message Boards

Insight and Wisdom

Fears around death

Toggle
Fears around death Barry D 11/21/19 10:48 AM
RE: Fears around death Chris Marti 11/21/19 12:29 PM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/21/19 4:49 PM
RE: Fears around death Milo 11/21/19 6:50 PM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/22/19 3:15 AM
RE: Fears around death Jim Smith 11/21/19 4:14 PM
RE: Fears around death Jim Smith 11/21/19 4:08 PM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/22/19 3:16 AM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/21/19 4:53 PM
RE: Fears around death Jim Smith 11/21/19 5:53 PM
RE: Fears around death Bardo 11/21/19 4:48 PM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/22/19 3:17 AM
RE: Fears around death Jim Smith 11/21/19 6:09 PM
RE: Fears around death Bardo 11/22/19 12:37 AM
RE: Fears around death Nick O 11/21/19 9:04 PM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/22/19 3:19 AM
RE: Fears around death Not two, not one 11/21/19 9:55 PM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/22/19 3:22 AM
RE: Fears around death Not two, not one 11/22/19 7:49 AM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/22/19 11:36 AM
RE: Fears around death David Kyle Spencer 11/23/19 12:00 AM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/23/19 2:03 AM
RE: Fears around death Bardo 11/23/19 4:16 AM
RE: Fears around death ivory 11/21/19 11:00 PM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/22/19 3:24 AM
RE: Fears around death David Kyle Spencer 11/22/19 4:04 AM
RE: Fears around death shargrol 11/23/19 6:39 AM
RE: Fears around death Barry D 11/23/19 6:58 AM
RE: Fears around death Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/23/19 6:59 AM
RE: Fears around death agnostic 11/27/19 1:07 PM
RE: Fears around death David Kyle Spencer 11/25/19 4:55 AM
RE: Fears around death agnostic 11/27/19 10:35 PM
Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 10:48 AM
Hi everyone

I was wondering at what point within your progress of insight the fear of death droped away? Was it at a particular path? Did you do a parituclar practice to address this or did it happen incidentally. 

A bit of background to my question. I experienced a first round of fruition/cessation events in several years ago, there have been many cycles since, but I have no idea where I am past that. Like others who periodically post on here its clear the fetter model does not line up with simply going through a set number of cycles. 

Health issues have triggered a fear of death from time to time. I have a basic expectation that if I had had any insights worth having, then this would not happen. Particularly those around the nature of self. Its frequently clear there is no seperate enduring self, but still fear arises. 

The basically paradoxical experience of knowing something but at the same time experiencing emotions that seem uninformed by that insight leads to a great deal of doubt in the practice. 

Anyway, I would be interested in the expeirence of others, 

Barry 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 12:29 PM as a reply to Barry D.
There is a fundamental error in your reasoning in regard to the fear of death: you will never be free of it, just like you will never not feel emotions. What you will be able to do is better, more objectively and deeply observe and understand how you experience the fear of death, and you will thus know that the fear is a product of dependently originating processes. In that way you will be able to deal with the fear or death, with anger, with sadness and all the other things you will ever have going on.

Make sense?

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 4:14 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry D:
Hi everyone

I was wondering at what point within your progress of insight the fear of death droped away? Was it at a particular path? Did you do a parituclar practice to address this or did it happen incidentally. 

A bit of background to my question. I experienced a first round of fruition/cessation events in several years ago, there have been many cycles since, but I have no idea where I am past that. Like others who periodically post on here its clear the fetter model does not line up with simply going through a set number of cycles. 

Health issues have triggered a fear of death from time to time. I have a basic expectation that if I had had any insights worth having, then this would not happen. Particularly those around the nature of self. Its frequently clear there is no seperate enduring self, but still fear arises. 

The basically paradoxical experience of knowing something but at the same time experiencing emotions that seem uninformed by that insight leads to a great deal of doubt in the practice. 

Anyway, I would be interested in the expeirence of others, 

Barry 
"Like others who periodically post on here its clear the fetter model does not line up with simply going through a set number of cycles."

Maybe cycles don't mean what people say they mean? 

"Anyway, I would be interested in the expeirence of others,"

I started meditating when I was 11 years old.  I lost fear of death in my 20's. I never had a "cycle" (I don't practice according to the stages of insight.). I see my progress against the fetter model improving gradually and consistently over time but not necessarily in the pattern laid out by tradition. Although  my attachment to identity view has weakened over time, I've had 3 or 4 different types of no-self experiences (some easily repeatable, some not), none of them changed me permanently (I see them more as markers of progress than as producers of insight). I practice mostly samatha / jhana with sitting meditation and mostly vipassana (observing the activity of the mind) as mindfulness during daily life.

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 4:08 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
...
"Like others who periodically post on here its clear the fetter model does not line up with simply going through a set number of cycles."

Maybe cycles don't mean what people say they mean? 

...

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.184.than.html
AN 4.184 PTS: A ii 173
Abhaya Sutta: Fearless
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

...
[The Blessed One said:] "Brahman, there are those who, subject to death, are afraid & in terror of death. And there are those who, subject to death, are not afraid or in terror of death.
...
"And who is the person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death?

"There is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, and craving for sensuality. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought does not occur to him, 'O, those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from me, and I will be taken from them!' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, and craving for the body. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought does not occur to him, 'O, my beloved body will be taken from me, and I will be taken from my body!' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has done what is good, has done what is skillful, has given protection to those in fear, and has not done what is evil, savage, or cruel. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'I have done what is good, have done what is skillful, have given protection to those in fear, and I have not done what is evil, savage, or cruel. To the extent that there is a destination for those who have done what is good, what is skillful, have given protection to those in fear, and have not done what is evil, savage, or cruel, that's where I'm headed after death.' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has no doubt or perplexity, who has arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'I have no doubt or perplexity. I have arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma.' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"These, brahman, are four people who, subject to death, are not afraid or in terror of death."

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 4:48 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Fear of death has always been a proponent of the structure of 'self'. For me, it is a theory the self puts forward from time to time. This fear keeps our worldly intentions running smoothly coercing us to consistently shake hands with the devil for want of a better term. I'm using the term devil as a personification only. Fear of death is our misperceiving of reality by seeking a sense of longevity but, more specifically, the finer small print lies in our perception. Our standby frame of reference is that there is longevity and when that longevity is threatened fear rises like the demon Mara to keep us in line with dependant co-arising. So, what I am saying here is that fear is an idea like your thoughts are but I understand that when fear shows its armament it feels very real, when, in fact, it's like papier mache, you can push your finger through it thus revealing its empty nature.

One would need to look deeper into this because you cannot possibly fear death of the body; only the ideological attachments you have with the body which aren't worth wiping your bottom with.

At some point in the practice, your relationship with fear of death changes. For me it changed in a big way. I wouldn't even refer to it as fear of death any longer. As the self dissolves it takes with it those make-believe fears along with time, space and consciousness (and some other odds and ends)

I wouldn't say that you can measure when this will happen for you against the experience of others. Maybe you can seek solace in that fear of death is a harsh teaching on impermanence.

If you wanted to really open this up for yourself, you could have a look at the 9 charnel ground contemplations. There are some great documentaries that log the 5 stages of decomposition. That's a good place to start. It's a potent practice and is not for everyone. Judge carefully for yourself if it is right for you. 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 4:49 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Thanks for your response Chris.

Yes, it makes sense. But just to check I understand you. Are you saying the fundemental error thinking I can be free of fear and similar emotions?

I wonder if you could say more about it as a dependently orginating process. Do you mean it arises upon ignorance, sense contact, feeling and so on?


Thanks 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 4:53 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Thanks for your reponse Jim, 

'Maybe cycles don't mean what people say they mean?'

Yes, thats what I am begining to think...

Interesting that you lost your fear of death young. Seems some folks do:-)

Thanks

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 5:53 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry D:
Thanks for your reponse Jim, 

'Maybe cycles don't mean what people say they mean?'

Yes, thats what I am begining to think...

Interesting that you lost your fear of death young. Seems some folks do:-)

Thanks
It happened young, that is one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is that it happened more than 10 years after I first began to meditate regularly.

I find that observing emotions is helpful. Observing how they arise, exist for a time, and pass away. And observing their components: physical sensations and mental anguish. If you can see the components of an emotion clearly, sometimes it is possible to let go of the mental anguish component. The physical sensation tend to distract you, to attract the focus of your attention, to make you think the mental anguish is  "reality" because you don't see it as a distinct component.

I also find relaxation exercises help in letting go of emotions.

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 6:09 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry D,

I realize your question is about meditation practice, and I don't know about your spiritual beliefs, but some people find learning about the evidence for the afterlife helps to ease fear of death.
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 6:50 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
My own experience is that it does not dissapear completely but rather is experienced very differently. The raw stimulus of contact is still there but all the echoes and orbitals of association are no longer present. It becomes absolutely clear that the vast bulk of suffering around this issue comes from association, anticipation, and other mental shadows around the experience, and this kind of suffering becomes habitually tameable through insight. Concentration can also be used to blunt the remaining suffering from direct contact, IMHO

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 9:04 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry D:
Hi everyone

I was wondering at what point within your progress of insight the fear of death droped away? Was it at a particular path? Did you do a parituclar practice to address this or did it happen incidentally. 

A bit of background to my question. I experienced a first round of fruition/cessation events in several years ago, there have been many cycles since, but I have no idea where I am past that. Like others who periodically post on here its clear the fetter model does not line up with simply going through a set number of cycles. 

Health issues have triggered a fear of death from time to time. I have a basic expectation that if I had had any insights worth having, then this would not happen. Particularly those around the nature of self. Its frequently clear there is no seperate enduring self, but still fear arises. 

The basically paradoxical experience of knowing something but at the same time experiencing emotions that seem uninformed by that insight leads to a great deal of doubt in the practice. 

Anyway, I would be interested in the expeirence of others, 

Barry 
Hello Barry,

I had a sudden A&P sort of event nearly 5 years ago that wiped out the fear of the unknown. It happened very soon after I started to meditate and look into Buddhist philosophy. There's still the fear of worldly pains and the psychological nonsense I suffer with (ignorance) but not the unknown after death.

The fetter model and insight cycles do not correlate, correct. IMO, it's sort of comparing apples to oranges. The way I like to resolve that controversy (probably to much disagreement):
-Insight cycles are brought upon by investigation into the three characteristics.
-Fetters are lessened through cultivating wholesome qualities on the noble eightfold path.
(with some obvious crossover)  

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 9:55 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry, an interesting question.  For me loss of fear of death was at stream entry.  On a subsequent occasions I had a health scare with no fear of death or anxiety, despite the sympathy in the ambulence (and it was just a false alarm).  But then on another occasion I discovered I did have mild anxiety about fear of death during an upcoming elective procedure.  So the fear was totally gone, but then back in some circumstances, as a mild anxiety. But after all, it's just the aggregates that are afraid, right?  emoticon

One idea I have been playing around with is that tranquility comes in two forms. One is a stage of utter calm, that is required at some point to help liberate the being from dependent origination. The other is general, but not total, tranquility that comes later - a much reduced amplitude and frequency of emotions, but not the case of having no emotions at all.

So it may be that utter tranquility is an important milestone to achieve at some point (like the ability to deconstruct pain).  But it should not be clung to. It will arise and pass away.

Just my 2c worth.

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/21/19 11:00 PM as a reply to Barry D.
In my experience, just because one has wisdom or has extinguished a specific fear doesn't mean that other fears won't arise. Curing one's fear of public speaking through practice, for example, may not result in the cessation of fear surrounding death. That said, the more that one works with a variety of fears, as one does in the stages of dark night, the more willing one is to face fear in other areas.

However, you never know. I went to the hospital and did almost die from a PE. The nurses and doctors were very concerned and I was being closely monitored in the ICU. I thought, "This is it. I'm going to die." What surprised me was that I was not afraid of death at all even though I don't consider myself a very brave person. Maybe things would be different, though, if a doctor told me, "You have three months to live." Who knows what would have happened in that three month period.

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/22/19 12:37 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Barry D,

I realize your question is about meditation practice, and I don't know about your spiritual beliefs, but some people find learning about the evidence for the afterlife helps to ease fear of death.
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence

I would see that easing as an extension of their ignorance leading to more samsaric cycles: birth, death, lamentation, pain, sorrow and distress. Having pained themselves through uncountable births on the back of this ignorance, their pains continue... they lose loved ones, friends and family time and again. They shed tears far in excess of the water in the four great oceans. They die uncountable deaths through uncountable methods. Finding ease in such sorrow is perplexing but perhaps I come from a fairly unique position with knowledge of my own past lives and that of others. When a solid divine eye sees the citta-santana of others, great compassion billows upwards from the wisdom gut and duly informs you that they are not seeing. 

I do understand the comfort in entertaining future lives. It's the same comfort we seek from permanence which seems to always assume the guise of pleasantries but turns out to be a fickle imposter with some notable talent at deception.

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/22/19 3:15 AM as a reply to Milo.
Nice descriptions

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/22/19 3:16 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Thanks for the sutta reference

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/22/19 3:17 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Yes, agree that its a mis-percieving of things. I find I can notice this, suffering disapates, only to re-arise. What I find tricky is that endless seeing fo this process hasnt uprooted it yet. 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/22/19 3:19 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Thanks Nick. Yes, I found my first A and P helped somewhat. I think I agree about your observations about insight cycles and fetters. 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/22/19 3:22 AM as a reply to Not two, not one.
Thanks Curious, I think my experience has been somewhat like yours. The grossest fear subsided after cessation events, but it still happens. 

Some of the comments here are making me wonder if I am expecting the wrong outcomes. In that I am setting the bar high by expecting a kind of total elimination of any arising emotion. 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/22/19 3:24 AM as a reply to ivory.
Thanks Ivory. Yes, I have noticed the same thing, fears disappearing in one area, dont seem to mean they wont arise elsewhere. Also, what you say reminds me that are responses when we are actually 'there' can suprise us one way or the other. 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/22/19 4:04 AM as a reply to Barry D.
I lost all fear of death at two different intersections: my Tao immersion twenty years ago and the cluster event I described in my first post. Thing is, unless you can stay there, it comes back.

I've read in some of these replies that it is impossible not to fear death. That's not exactly true: It is entirely possible, under certain circumstances, to lose all fear of death and the unknown. One might suppose that people who commit suicide fear death right up until they take that step or pull the trigger, and many of them undoubtedly do. Those are the emotional ones.

However, I have also known former friends and acquaintances who were so emotionally detached that they didn't fear death a bit. (For future reference, if someone you know is going through a crisis and they say these words: "I don't care. Part of me knows I should care...I'm supposed to care...but I just don't" and they actually look confused, you need to pull whatever strings you have to to have them committed. They are about to jump into the unknown, just to do it, and it won't be a cry for help. They're all packed and ready to go.)

So far, I've mentioned only abnormal psychology, but what about the 95 year old grandmas who chuckle at the thought that they're afraid to die. Are they all lying? I doubt it. That indifference may be related to a biological phenomena that happens when people find themselves being eaten by a large predator. This has been documented in numerous medical publications. Evidently, fear only exists if the body still thinks it has a shot at survival.

The last two cases I can think of at the moment are end of life patients who have lost all fear of death after being prescribed magic mushrooms (which is why Colorado just legalized psilocybin) and profoundly Enlightened people. I doubt Nich That Hahn fears death or that Gotoma truly feared it, or that some of the Christian martyrs feared it. There are stories of certain berserker Vikings that were absolutely thrilled to die in combat or as a sacrifice.

For most points and purposes, however, Buddha's admonition in the Dhammapada is accurate: "All fear death." There is another passage in the Dhammapada, however, where he states (paraphrasing here) "See the world for the illusion it is and you render the Lord of Death powerless."

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/22/19 7:49 AM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry D:
Some of the comments here are making me wonder if I am expecting the wrong outcomes. In that I am setting the bar high by expecting a kind of total elimination of any arising emotion. 

Yes, I think that is right.  Emotions do become almost absent at some stages, but that is just a temporary phenomenon. Trying to eliminate emotions just leads to their suppression - and then they can pop out later in weird and unwelcome ways. 

So it is not the presence or absence of the emotion that matters, so much as your relationship to the emotion. When we have a passion toward an emotion, it is like the body/mind and the emotion catch fire together. The fire feeds itself and burns us in the process.  But when we reduce the passion towards the emotion, we no longer catch fire. The emotion may still arise, but it no longer burns us. 

Trancendental dependent origination tells us that (a) from love of the dharma we find joy, (b) from joy we find rapture, and the raptures purify us, (c) from purification of the aggregates we find calm, (d) the calm allows bliss to arise, (e) as the bliss reprogrammes our brains, we start to see things as they really are, (f) after we see things as the really are for long enough, our attachments dissolve, (g) once our attachments dissolve, we can become liberated from clinging (unless we cling to the dharma), (h) as we are liberated from clinging, we realise that we have ended the taints.

So I suggest that you don't try to cling to the calm (c); let it go and allow bliss to arise (d) and wallow in that for a while.

Lots of other good comments in other replies too.  emoticon

Good luck!

Malcolm

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/22/19 11:36 AM as a reply to Not two, not one.
Thats helpful thanks. I think the setting the bar somewhat high comes from a somewhat literal interpretation of the fetter model. Also, within the dependent arising you mention we do get 'destruction of the taints', which I believe is desire relating to the senses and becoming. Its hard to get away from the 'elimination model' when looking at the dharma in the suttas. 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/23/19 12:00 AM as a reply to Barry D.
In a speech Abraham Lincoln delivered at the height of the Civil War, he referred to the Southerners as fellow human beings who were in error. An elderly lady chastised him for not calling them irreconcilable enemies who must be destroyed. "Why, madam," Lincoln replied, "do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"

Perhaps this is the skillful method of destruction meant in the Suttas, rather than absolute emotional detachment, which seems like a spiritual  perversion to me on the order of self-mortification.

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/23/19 2:03 AM as a reply to David Kyle Spencer.
Interesting quote. Yes, there is a slightly unhelpful duality set up, if we are on a mission to eliminate something.

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/23/19 4:16 AM as a reply to David Kyle Spencer.
David Kyle Spencer:
In a speech Abraham Lincoln delivered at the height of the Civil War, he referred to the Southerners as fellow human beings who were in error. An elderly lady chastised him for not calling them irreconcilable enemies who must be destroyed. "Why, madam," Lincoln replied, "do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"

Perhaps this is the skillful method of destruction meant in the Suttas, rather than absolute emotional detachment, which seems like a spiritual  perversion to me on the order of self-mortification.

That was nicely compared. I would say that is indeed the method. Although, for me it has been helpful in the beginning to form an observer of self activity meaning that there is an observer here watching the self over there which, as a by-product, creates a sort of schism or duality. The critical approach to such a method lies in the faculties of the observer. The observer must be non-judgmental, kind, patient and curious about what it observes otherwise all sorts of off-key things will begin to manifest. These are the first qualities of the observer one should adopt in such an approach. The same is true of emotions. When this has been mastered to a degree, you can listen to others with such great empathy so the results are not limited to ones own gains. 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/23/19 6:39 AM as a reply to Barry D.
There is fear of death... and there is fear of death.

At some point people realize that death is inevitable and realize that being afraid of it in the abstract won't change a darn thing. No meditation is necessary to really get this. You do have to witness it and feel it in your bones to really get it. Mediation can help people make peace with it... 

And then there are those people that say, "I have no emotional or psychological reactivity about any event that suggests injury or death is approaching in any way". I'm pretty sure that every single one of those people can't maintain the illusion. Chris and I have joked about a candid camera situation for this kind of thing...

The exception is for people who are traumatized and suicidal. Plenty of soldiers and police officers etc. have seen too much and have just turned cold. No psychological response anymore. But that doesn't mean they are dharma teachers or even good baby sitters.

It's okay to prefer to not to be injured or die soon, if only for the reason of: how on earth can you continue to help people on this earth if you are gone? Yeah, at some point that preference won't be met and it will be time to go, but there's no big problem with having a body-mind orientation that seeks to delay the inevitable.    

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/23/19 6:58 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Very good Shargrol, thanks for your response. 

There can be a danger it seems, around the zero emotional reactivity position. Its all to easy to sort of alienate ones self from responses. 

I hear in what you describe the possibliity of a kind of accomodation of death or acceptance of it. But at the same time, but an acknoledgement that its natural to prefer to keep living. 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/23/19 6:59 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
And then there are those people that say, "I have no emotional or psychological reactivity about any event that suggests injury or death is approaching in any way". I'm pretty sure that every single one of those people can't maintain the illusion. Chris and I have joked about a candid camera situation for this kind of thing...


This made me laugh out loud. I was thinking about how to phrase this distinction, but you just nailed it. 

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/27/19 1:07 PM as a reply to Barry D.
I stopped fearing death after I got heavily depressed and suicidal. I remember one day deciding this was it, writing a note and practicing the method. Mostly I was just detached and curious about what was happening. I wasn't really serious thank God, but I remember thinking I was 50:50 live or die. I was still scared of the physical pain, but not about the idea of me no longer existing. You might say I was not thinking right due to the depression. I cured the depression through meditation, however the fundamental insight has not changed - my life ultimately has no individual purpose and it doesn't matter whether I live or die. Of course it matters to my family and friends and there's no reason for me to kill myself. But it seems to me that so much of meditation is basically preparing to die - seeing just how much you can let go of. Once I started to grok anatta the whole thing became pretty absurd, there's no one really here to die anyway. And yes I'm still squeamish about blood and physical pain and would jump out of the way of a truck. And I wouldn't want my wife and kids and family and friends to suffer from my death. But if I was kidnapped by terrorists and forced to play Russian Roulette at gunpoint (shot if refusing to play), I link to think I would be quite relaxed and detached about pulling the trigger. The candid camera would probably show me crapping my pants though LOL.

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/25/19 4:55 AM as a reply to agnostic.
If you want to die as peacefully and beautifully as it's possible for a human being to die, push the boundaries of attainment until the very end. See: https://sites.google.com/site/esabsnichtenglisch/yaeko-iwasaki-s-enlightenment-letters-to-harada-roshi-and-his-comments

RE: Fears around death
Answer
11/27/19 10:35 PM as a reply to David Kyle Spencer.
Thanks David for this timely reference. I intend to redouble my efforts and practice each day as if it were my last.