Death Meditation as a Means to Realizing Life’s Purpose in Buddhism

When I first learned of the death meditation traditions of Buddhism, I wondered how to reconcile this with the Judeo-Christian ethic I had been taught, to “choose life” over death.1 Upon deeper study it became evident to me that these two seemingly opposite guiding principles are really not so clearly opposed as first appeared.  In Buddhism, it is believed that a person’s state of mind at the moment of death can be more decisive than any virtuous deeds.2 For this reason, meditation upon death is considered to be the most valuable spiritual practice.3

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