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28.10.2014
One step we can take towards accepting and living with our decomposition is to plan for a natural, also known as green, burial.
I found your site while of course looking for something else, but I am so grateful you are doing this. My mother died in 2003, and that’s when I began to really think long and hard about what happens to our bodies, most especially hers. I also began to realize just how taboo death is in Western cultures, as it’s not something anyone wants to ever talk about, but I love talking about it.
I have a friend, who’s mother has cancer, and he nor anyone in his family will discuss her wishes or plans. Caitlin, I have a really frustrating problem, my wife ( for as long as I can remember is afraid of death ( well duh you might say, and aint we all?
To be fair here, I myself  had the same issue with death ( but to a much less extent ) – my mother took her own life when I was 18 and she was he first  dead person I had ever seen. Point here is I managed to face these fears but my wife is so bad ( and Im not kidding here ) – on the last occasion, we went around to a friends place to say hi to the widow after hearing her husband passed away. Seconds later, she collapsed on the landing and seemed to stare into space and shook like she was having  some kind of fit or something.
After about a minute of cuddling, and stroking her hair, and speaking softly to her telling her she was  fine ( etc ) – she burst into tears and I helped her up, and I put her back in the car and took her to the doctors to get her checked out.
PLEASE help Caitlin, I love her so much, but I also fear that the next time we have a funeral or a friend passes away, this might set off another episode – or worse.
I can not speak for this website as I have no affiliation with it what so ever other than reading it and posting comments, but it seems to me that professional metal health help might be in order. Hi Caitlin, firstly I love your YouTube videos (where I found you first) and now I love your site.
This is the best non-religious, non-crazy hippy talk way of describing what happens after death I have ever heard. Dillon’s Friend, whether or not one has mental health difficulties or not, losing a pet to death, esp.
I lost my loaned soulmate, Raiden, on November 2, 2015 and let his body stay where he passed for approx. However, although I love the idea of a green burial, if I was to somehow come into a HUGE amount of money – I have better and more productive plans of utilizing my corpse.
I wish government rulings would get out of the way to allow us to decompose privatly as accelerated compost or wildlife feedings mamals or marine. As a young adult, after the death of a friend, I was captivated by a story of a human corpse being devoured by and nourishing a pack of wolves. Later, as I expanded my notions regarding our atom’s reincarnation into infinite universal forms, I began thinking of this dispersal on the level of the soul as well. A friend told me of a tribal culture she studied who mash ashes of their beloved dead into a gourd and use it to prepare a soup. Lost my sister when I was 16 and she was 18, we were very close and the news of losing her stopped the world around me. ACTUally, even BEFORE you are dead, in fact, continuously throughout your lifetiems, the atoms that make up an individual are leaving the individual and returning to the universe. The Order of the Good Death is a group of funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality. We were talking about the three principal aspects of the path: renunciation, bodhicitta, and the wisdom realizing emptiness. The first sentence talks about how to give up the obsession with the attractions and pleasures of this life. That obsession becomes a huge obstacle to spiritual practice because it consumes so much time. Seeking just the happiness of this life motivates people to kill, steal, have unwise sexual behavior, lie, use speech disharmoniously, gossip, use harsh words, all the non-virtues.
In the process, we create a lot of negative actions and make misery for ourselves and others. One antidote is to contemplate the freedoms and fortunes of a precious human life, see its purpose and meaning, and see how rare and difficult to attain it is. So this talk is about impermanence and death and how to use it to bolster our spiritual practice. This is the first thing the Buddha taught after his enlightenment (in the Four Noble Truths).
We go through life not making any preparation for it, but it's the one thing that's certain to happen. So all the excuses we make for not having time to practice the Dharma—let's be clear and honest that these are choices we're making. Our positive actions will be powerful and effective, uncontaminated by ulterior motivations for this life.
It's important in the middle of the path, because it helps us persevere, even when it's difficult.
It's important at the end of practice, because it keeps us focused on the beneficial goals.
There are two different meditations to help us remember impermanence and death: the nine-point death meditation and imagining our own death.


The purpose of thinking about death is not to get morbid and depressed, nor to get panicky about dying.
When we meditate on death, the motivation and self-discipline for spiritual practice come from inside.
Even the very simple actions we do in our lives give our life meaning when done with a positive motivation. The meditation on impermanence and death gives us so much positive energy and helps remove stress.
When we notice the kinds of things we get stressed about (wanting something, money problems, so much to be done, feeling unappreciated), and then we think about what's really important at the time we die, we realize that none of these things is truly important. Follow the outline with the three major points, each with its three subpoints and conclusion.
There are other things we need to do to keep our body alive and keep our life going, so that we can practice.
When we have an awareness of impermanence and death, we do even the mundane activities with the motivation of bodhicitta rather than a motivation of our own selfish pleasure. For example, we eat not for the sensual pleasure, but to support the pure life (brahmacharya).
The motivation for everything we do becomes different, and some things we decide to just leave behind because they are not important to us. Then at the time we die, if we take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, if we generate our kind heart in a wish for compassion, then that makes our mind very peaceful at the time we die.
If we can have that kind of mind when we're dying, then it becomes much easier just to let go.
Researchers observe that the reduction in blood pressure resulting from meditating translates, among other positive effects, into longer life expectancy.
The big old pine tree feel right on top of the private and quiet corner Maria and I built between the garden and the pasture. I loved to sit in that chair in the evening, put headphones into my I phone and listen to music. Maria and I often sat together out in that quiet corner, Flo usually climbs into my lap, Red lies down behind me, the donkeys and Chloe come sniffing around by the fence,  hoping for treats or attention.  I meditated there, and sat out in that chair when I was anxious or sad. I'm not sure how it works, but it seems ironic to be that our quiet little meditation corner was destroyed by a big old pine tree, the tree was probably planted before the civil war.
The chair looks to be a wreck, and I'm  not sure we will use that corner again as a quiet and reflective space. The new cartoon was actually planned for Valentine?s Day but I had so much to do that I wasn?t able to finish it before today. I broke his nose, and caused such damage, – that he had 2 black eyes and he couldn’t see out of them for almost 2 weeks! My grandma died about 3 months ago, and at her funeral my Dad and I were the only ones who went in to view her in her coffin. In fact, I think it is so good I am going to teach my children that this is the process after death. I recently buried my 19-year-old cat, and just gently laying him into the ground was traumatic. The way we adapt each others mannerisms and world visions and are constantly exchanges pieces of soul with those we love. This ceremoneous taking into ones body and person who is already part of ones soul, to me, feels like a beautiful and comfortable way for a body to begin its dispersal into the universe. Nora Cedarwind Young used to come every year and do several classes on green burial, natural burial, etc. Unless we die in childhood, MORE matter has been returned day to day during the years BEFORE we die. Our practice becomes impure if we don't purify our motivation through remembering impermanence and death. When we're not mindful of our mortality and karma, but instead seek only the happiness of this life, we don't take care with our actions.
We've gained some wisdom, compassion, and skill, and we feel energized to use them to benefit all beings. When you think about what's important when you die, it puts the little things that typically bother us into perspective. People die in the middle of doing all sorts of different things, and nobody believes today is the day they will die. Think of how a virus, an infection, a blood clot, or a piece of metal can end life so quickly. We need to work to transform our mind, to really make our mind happy through spiritual practice. We think, "Even if I die today (because time of death is indefinite), I'm happy for however long I have to live.
We planted a garden and shrubs so that our corner could be private, the tree gave us shade and blocked the view from the road. I bought the chair nine years ago in Hebron, just down the road from the first Bedlam Farm, a retired marine sergeant named Don Coldwell makes wonderful Adirondack chairs, he befriended me when I moved into my farm there, but we lost touch and I had not really seen him since then.
I brooded a bit in that chair, looking back on the mistakes and wrong turns in my life, and I felt good there, I felt close to nature.


In this workshop we will explore a) wether and how can we through meditation experience what people with Near Death Experience experienced?, b) Similarities and differences between Meditation and Near Death Experiences and how to overcome the fear of death. On the plus side, I will be published in a German cartoon anthology book in March by a big publisher. Sort of like trying to prepare myself for that moment I will die (it became an obsession in trying to deal with it for I’m not religious and I feel I need to comfort myself in some way).
They can make up their minds later about God or not when they get older, but God or no God, the natural process of decomposition still happens when you die. I truly agree that this is natures way and we should honour it and give back to the earth for the amount we have taken from it to live our lives. It made me think I’d like to be wrapped in beautiful fabric with flowers in my hair and really nice socks and gloves on. I decided I’d like to begin my physical reincarnation through those who already held pieces of my soul. How fast does a funeral have to happen considering, you don’t exactly stay fresh for very long? Our bodies begin decaying and dying from the time we're born; nothing can prevent their demise.
We spend so much time and energy accumulating money and things, and often create many negative actions doing so, but we can't take it with us when we die. They can't even make our mind into a positive state when we die; we have to do that for ourselves (though they might be able to help). The graphic organizers are my attempts to organize and integrate the many concepts presented. It was quite and beautiful back there, we could look out over the pasture and watch the sunlight come and go. It's a small thing in the scheme of bigger things, but I'm not sure I will be able to see it as quiet place again.
And one of my cartoons will be used by a big American publishing company for one of their German language course books.
The thought of returning to the earth and universe and knowing I’m not a single thing but a small part of a great whole brings me comfort. As I looked into the coffin, I saw this sleeping wax doll that kinda looked like my Grandma, but I didn’t really recognise it as her. Laid right there in the dirt, with flowers scattered over me, and some of the things I’ve loved. Should you ever consider teaching these sorts of things at conventions, I can promise you that you’d find a large excited audience at ConVocation. Lost my pet gold fish of 2 years and it was a fair fish my girlfriend had won when we started dating so I became very attached to him and just came home after work to see him laying at the bottom giving out his last breaths. After about a 7-year period, we are made up of different atoms, arranged into the same molecules and cells, as the old atoms. He literally died on his ten month birthday, and all I keep thinking was what I done for him in his life enough? We tell ourselves, I'll just finish this, take care of these worldly things, then I'll practice the Dharma. Usually, there was a donkey or a sheep or pony grazing right nearby, the trees blocked out the noise from the road.
It was a lot to bare even today thinking of him in the sewers really makes me uneasy but I was hurt seeing him not breathing anymore so I flushed him.
But worldly concerns are never finished, so we'll never get to the Dharma practice if this is how we think.
We try to overcome our self-centeredness and develop impartial love and compassion, try to see through the ignorance that covers our mind and see the emptiness of the self and phenomena. I really like the idea of allowing the body to decompose as quickly as possible too, although I think this will be a very difficult idea to promote in Western culture.
None of that can prevent us from dying, or help us have a good rebirth, or get us closer to enlightenment. I knew my Grandma didn’t exsist anymore (technically), but didn’t something happen?
Hard to accept losing something you love especially when the pet relies on solely you to make sure it can live. Your post above just slotted into place the missing info I have been looking for the last few months.
This article has helped me though to accept the decomp state as more of something nice then disturbing. When I would sleep he lie next to my pillow, I’m assuming watching me but I would wake up. Only because once my eyes opened he would stand up and lie on my stomach and ram his little head into my palm.



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