If one dies while asleep?

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Fortyeightvows
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If one dies while asleep?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:00 am

If one dies while asleep is that considered a good death? I've heard that some teachers say that it is a very bad death because will not be awake to direct one's mind to a better rebirth. But I've heard laypeople describe it as having died peaceful.

What do you think?

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Aryjna
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Re: If one dies while asleep?

Post by Aryjna » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:41 pm

It shouldn't make a very significant difference. Someone who is completely oblivious during sleep probably will be similarly oblivious in the bardo anyway.

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: If one dies while asleep?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:52 pm

If you're sincere in practice, you're already preserved from the lower realms. And of course the buddhas and bodhisattvas will help you when you die, no matter the details.
namuamidabunamuamidabunamuamidabunamuamidabunamuamidabu

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

Free Pure Land Buddhism resources

Fortyeightvows
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Re: If one dies while asleep?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:07 am

Consider the case of the late Alan Watts. He was a long-time Buddhist but then started to take L.S.D. He recently died in his sleep from a heart attack, very peacefully. But most people don't know that to die in sleep is to die in a state of ignorance. When you die in your sleep you have no chance to think about good rebirth, to think about Amitabha, or to do anything to help yourself get good conditions of rebirth. In a case like this a person falls into the lower three states of hell, ghost, and animal. The very best he can hope for is to be reborn as a pig.

Alan Watts was an old friend who corresponded with me. After he became a Hippie he began to emphasize drugs although he still read The Tibetan Book of the Dead and tried to use it to guide his acid trips. But what good did it do to him? As he did not know he was going to die that night, who could read this book to him? Thus both young people and old scholars hurt themselves because they do not carefully consider the Cause, Course, and Consequence of their acts. Poor Alan Watts just received the consequence of death by a heart attack in an unconscious condition. This makes me very sad.
http://www.yogichen.org/cw/cw30/bk053.html

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Aryjna
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Re: If one dies while asleep?

Post by Aryjna » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:11 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:07 am
Consider the case of the late Alan Watts. He was a long-time Buddhist but then started to take L.S.D. He recently died in his sleep from a heart attack, very peacefully. But most people don't know that to die in sleep is to die in a state of ignorance. When you die in your sleep you have no chance to think about good rebirth, to think about Amitabha, or to do anything to help yourself get good conditions of rebirth. In a case like this a person falls into the lower three states of hell, ghost, and animal. The very best he can hope for is to be reborn as a pig.

Alan Watts was an old friend who corresponded with me. After he became a Hippie he began to emphasize drugs although he still read The Tibetan Book of the Dead and tried to use it to guide his acid trips. But what good did it do to him? As he did not know he was going to die that night, who could read this book to him? Thus both young people and old scholars hurt themselves because they do not carefully consider the Cause, Course, and Consequence of their acts. Poor Alan Watts just received the consequence of death by a heart attack in an unconscious condition. This makes me very sad.
http://www.yogichen.org/cw/cw30/bk053.html
This doesn't make much sense, and as far as I can tell contradicts the descriptions of how the bardo works.

Fortyeightvows
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Re: If one dies while asleep?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:16 am

Aryjna wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:11 am
This doesn't make much sense, and as far as I can tell contradicts the descriptions of how the bardo works.
I cited the source, but I do wonder about it which is why I ask about it here..

I particularly wonder about this part:
When you die in your sleep you have no chance to think about good rebirth, to think about Amitabha, or to do anything to help yourself get good conditions of rebirth.

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Aryjna
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Re: If one dies while asleep?

Post by Aryjna » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:23 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:16 am
Aryjna wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:11 am
This doesn't make much sense, and as far as I can tell contradicts the descriptions of how the bardo works.
I cited the source, but I do wonder about it which is why I ask about it here..

I particularly wonder about this part:
When you die in your sleep you have no chance to think about good rebirth, to think about Amitabha, or to do anything to help yourself get good conditions of rebirth.
For all we know someone may be dreaming about Amitabha anyway. Second, the bardo does not last a moment where you are projected immediately in another existence. It takes longer, and there are different phases. Though it is good to practice at the moment before the breath stops, the most crucial parts are later. Even if one cannot think about Amitabha, as he puts it, the majority of people who die awake do not think about him. Does that mean that they all are reborn as pigs specifically?

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