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Satipatthana Sutta, First Foundation: Death and the Body (2 of 2)

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2010-08-03
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



As we explore the body from this sutta, we realize the inevitability of loss and begin to see death everywhere. Death takes us through various stages of realization, altering our life and changing it forever. We learn to live consciously with all beginnings and endings.


Reflect on the four stages of working with your death: self-preservation, universal death, letting death be, and personally inquiring who dies. As you begin to take this subject on, fear is often your first challenge. Don’t look for the resolution of fear before you turn your attention naturally to the next stage, the universality of death. This stage helps settle the fear. When fear arises, contemplate on the fact that death is not personal and consumes all forms of life. As that understanding becomes clearer, allow yourself to intentionally relax with what you see by letting death be just as it is.  Death does not need your intervention, but it does need your awareness. Finally, consider inquiring into who dies. If fear reappears during this inquiry, refocus on the universality of death and practice a relaxed response to what you see.   Ever so gently we move ourselves into death until we find ourselves interconnected through the subject itself.  It becomes a way of looking and abiding within life.


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