Tag Archives: Buddhist Death Ritual

Corpse Meditation: A Buddhist Practice

A cultural practice of looking at death in order to be reminded of life.

It may sound macabre or unusual, but corpse mediation is real — and, in many parts of Thailand and some other parts of Southeast Asia, a fairly normal occurrence, specifically among Buddhist monks. It’s typical for monks to meditate while … Continue reading

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Bathing Rituals Around the World

Cleaning the dead is a tradition that spans across cultures

Whether you’re observing a traditional Buddhist burial rite, or you’re watching the HBO series Six Feet Under, you might see someone methodically bathe a person who has died. In fact, the act of bathing the dead has existed as a tradition … Continue reading

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Unlocking the Tibetan Practice of Phowa

The Tibetan Buddhist practice of phowa grants the power to find enlightenment in preparing for death

In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the practice of phowa (pronounced po-wa) is a sacred form of meditation designed to prepare your consciousness to transcend your body after death. Like mantram singing, phowa is a lifelong endeavor that can be picked up … Continue reading

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Bizarre Death Ritual: 19th Century Buddhist Self-Mummification

This short-lived death ritual was believed to be a road to enlightenment.

In late 1800s Japan, several Buddhist monks called Sokushinbutsu attempted the rare ritual of self-mummification. Driven by the Buddhist quest for enlightenment and the belief that this requires non-attachment from the physical body, these monks prepared to take their own lives … Continue reading

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