How do we as Buddhist practitioners deal with the issues of death and dying? If phenomena are non-self (as the Buddha taught) what or who is it that dies? What is the possible role of the teaching of non-self in the process of dying? How can contemplation of death and of the non-beautiful (asubha) increase our quality of life? These two practices taught by the Buddha are often confused with one another, and overlap at times. In this course, we will contextualize our discussion with some Pali texts on these two topics together with practical meditation instructions. Our discussion will create a container for personal sharing and investigation of these teachings. Note: Suggested for people who are familiar with Buddhist teachings of anatta (non-self) and anicca (impermanence).
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Self, Non-Self, and Contemplation of Death (maranaanussati)
Days: Fri - Wed (5 Nights)
Instructor(s): Sayadaw U Jagara, Mathieu Boisvert
Sayadaw U Jagara is Canadian-born and has been a Theravadin monk for 35 years, primarily in Sri Lanka and Burma. He has trained and taught in the U Ba Khin as well as the Pa-Auk traditions of Burma, where he presently lives.
Mathieu Boisvert has been a professor of religious studies at the University of Québec in Montréal since 1992. He now is the director of graduate programs in religions, director of the Centre for study and research on India and South Asia (CERIAS) and the vice-president of the Canadian corporation for the study of religion. He is the author of, amongst others, The Five Aggregates: Understanding Buddhist Psychology and Soteriology.