Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tibetan Sky Burial

Today is the time where we celebrate yet another completion of the Earth's orbit around the Sun.

The New Year celebration is recognized around the world & symbolizes the continual process of renewal. Along with that renewal of all things on an ever-occurring basis, there is also decay & dissolution. These are simply subjective distinctions for the eternal process of change in all forms.

Destruction & Creation are inherent in all phenomena. The Universe is in a continual state of oscillation- in which things arise, change, and dissolve.

So, as we look forward to a New Year & new beginnings, we should also be mindful of the impermanence of all things. It is inevitable that all things we can currently experience will eventually be no more.

These are Buddhist notions of non-attachment, used to free the spirit from suffering in this human realm. It is a difficult & almost impossible practice for emotional beings such as humans.

For both practical & spiritual purposes, Tibetans who live in the Himalayas practice "sky burials" for their dead. The bodies are chopped up and allowed to be consumed by the vultures & other living creatures that are nourished by it. Part of the reason for this is because the ground is rocky & hard, so burial in the dirt isn't possible. In the spiritual sense, Buddhists believe that the dead body is an empty vessel, so there is no reason to give it any preservation.

I saw this article recently, that made me think about this ritual in the context of the passing of the current year and the unstoppable flow of time.

Daily Mail:

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