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Mummification, etc.

With a focus on the non-Zen Mahayana schools flowing from China, Japan, Korea, etc.

Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:05 am

Jimmy Hoffa's body is presumed to be part of a bridge abutment somewhere, but now I'm getting other ideas. --Joe
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby Nonin on Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:33 am

desert_woodworker wrote:Jimmy Hoffa's body is presumed to be part of a bridge abutment somewhere, but now I'm getting other ideas. --Joe


Naw, Jimmy's body is rumored to be buried in one of the end zones in the New York Giants' stadium over in New Jersey!

Hands palm-to-palm,

Nonin
Soto Zen Buddhist Priest. Transmitted Dharma Heir of Dainin Katagiri Roshi.
Abbot and Head Teacher, Nebraska Zen Center / Heartland Temple, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
http://www.prairiewindzen.org
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:29 am

Dear Abbot Nonin,

Now that's what I'd call an "end-" zone, all puns intended!

Ouch... .

In Gassho,

--Joe

ps Yup, my old home State, NJ. I know The Meadowlands well. Liked them better while there was no stadium built upon them. Beautiful wetlands, yet with the imposing and impressive skyline of NYC in view. But I'm a desert-dweller, now. Drawn to the clear, dark skies. And cacti.

Nonin wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:Jimmy Hoffa's body is presumed to be part of a bridge abutment somewhere, but now I'm getting other ideas. --Joe

Naw, Jimmy's body is rumored to be buried in one of the end zones in the New York Giants' stadium over in New Jersey!
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby Seeker242 on Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:23 pm

Meido wrote:
What are everyone's thoughts on this aspect of our tradition?



Not good, not bad. :lol2:
Kill a cat, with a dried shit stick, under a cypress tree in the courtyard, while eating three pounds of flax! Only a cow goes Moooo!
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby Chrisd on Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:57 pm

I hear it's quite a cool thing. People can feel something with it, and it's got a gaze like a Zen master's when you look at it straight. There's some life to it, mysterious? :)

Media's all over it and parties trying to claim it. Like the pictures of it were not even released, they were taken "illegally". Since every news channel puts it up the next hour there's no stopping it so they let it be. But the owner here in the NL is apparently a cool guy not interested in money so it's not being handled too disrespectfully. Will be interesting to see where it ends up.

This sort of thing used to be valuable in many ways, no wonder they did it. But these days we have vids and pictures so I don't think it's appropriate any more.
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby partofit22 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:09 am

The practice of making mummies isn't creepy to me, but the mummy .. I think I might find creepy at first until I got used to it- It's not like it could do anyone any harm- (The living can do that..) The mummy is, in a way, a symbol of a tradition that's been kept alive for a very long time- Perhaps the practice of making mummies has something, or even more, to do with deep appreciation than attachment-
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby littletsu on Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:49 am

This book might have some interesting points to this. I just scanned it, I need to put it into order (and it is not OCR-ed).
If anybody wants to have it I am happy to share.

http://www.amazon.com/Miracles-Book-Bod ... k+and+body

Miracles of Book and Body is the first book to explore the intersection of two key genres of sacred literature in medieval Japan: sutras, or sacred Buddhist texts, and setsuwa, or "explanatory tales," used in sermons and collected in written compilations. For most of East Asia, Buddhist sutras were written in classical Chinese and inaccessible to many devotees. How, then, did such devotees access these texts? Charlotte D. Eubanks argues that the medieval genre of "explanatory tales" illuminates the link between human body (devotee) and sacred text (sutra). Her highly original approach to understanding Buddhist textuality focuses on the sensual aspects of religious experience and also looks beyond Japan to explore pre-modern book history, practices of preaching, miracles of reading, and the Mahayana Buddhist "cult of the book."
合うは別れの始めだ。
有燈就有人。
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:16 pm

Meido, et al.,

I recently obtained a copy of the book by Fr. Herbert Thurston, S.J. (a Jesuit), The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism (1951). This is a scholarly book, well researched and footnoted, and indexed.

Remembering this ZFI thread on "Mummification", I immediately turned to Fr. Thurston's Chapter X, "Incorruption" (this is followed by [Chapter XI], "The Absence of Cadaveric Rigidity"). The chapter details many cases of incorruption of buried saints and other practitioners of great Faith (e.g., remains found to be "fresh" after 4 1/2 years, etc.). Anyone finding the present thread to be interesting may also find something of interest in Fr. Thurston's book.

I note that the book bears a "Nihil obstat" ("Contains no Error" in view of Roman Catholic Doctrine, by one of the Church's then Censors), and is given as well an Imprimatur.

The book's chapters begin with "Levitation", and end in the chapters "Living Without Eating", and "Multiplication of Food". The longest chapter in the book is "Stigmata" (about 90 pp.). There's a 20-page chapter on "Telekinesis".

Many or most of the phenomena evidenced and discussed may not be too unfamiliar to those who have practiced for a while, or a long while. Of course, to experience or display such phenomena is not the point of our practice, and can result in detours and dangers if clung to. But, it's interesting to me that some such phenomena thus are noted -- not too surprisingly -- not only in Buddhist circles, but in Christian circles as well (and likely in others). There's something generally Human about all this... .

:O:

--Joe
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:42 pm

Here's what the used hardcover copy of the Thurston book looks like. There are also paperbacks. --Joe

Thurston_PPoM.jpg
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:24 pm

Carol,

Carol wrote:I find it odd for a religion where one of the primary teachings is impermanence. Very odd, indeed.

Maybe you do.

The mummy murmurs silently, "This can be / will be YOU."

Thus, a lesson in ...what did you call it?... impermanence.

Just perhaps not as grossly awful as Hinayana contemplations on rotting-flesh, etc. But still very poignant, taken as such.

--Joe
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby A Philosopher on Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:44 pm

Carol wrote:I find it odd for a religion where one of the primary teachings is impermanence. Very odd, indeed.


I second this. I'm not denying a fact that, in a pragmatic sense, mummification may be put to good use and may inspire people. On the flip side, we are already very attached to the idea of permanence. It seems like mummification and similar practices have potential for creating even more attachment.

By the same token, I see it a bit odd that some schools of Buddhism use diamond to symbolize an awakening and indestructibility. I can speculate and philosophize about it. E.g., perhaps, nirvana is not an entity and definitely not a composite entity. So, it is not a subject of to becoming and decaying. But, at the root, I find it odd.

Then again, whatever useful means work, it makes sense to use them (provided it does not harm anyone).
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Re: Mummification, etc.

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:56 pm

The Diamond Cutter is known for what it does, and not for what it putatively is.

Diamond has been known as probably the hardest substance, able to cut through all other things.

True Wisdom in Buddhist practice is ascribed diamantine qualities of cutting to the truth, to the root of reality, being clear, and neither having coloration nor adding coloration. Not bad... .

Now, for an appreciation of the mentality and motivations of the contemporaries of Hui Neng who mummified his body, we are probably well advised to have and to exercise that same mentality. Not an easy accomplishment or attainment! It may take much Chan Buddhist practice.

Who has looked at the possibility that Hui Neng's mummification may be the result of his own "last wish"? It's a thought that arose recently and that I find interesting. Perhaps he asked the temple leaders before his death to mummify his body, for some religious or pedagogical purpose, or other compassionate reason. I suppose the mummy has been serving those purposes over the centuries, down to the present, whether he asked for this to be done, or not.

--Joe
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