Death Is Not a Quick Path to Liberation

Author: Linmu

Question: ...I have been disappointed and suffering for several years... I've also studied Theravada meditation, sitting in meditation, and walking meditation, but for various reasons, I can't sustain it consistently... In the past two years, things have taken a severe turn for the worse... I just can't bear it anymore... I only seek death to find liberation... for someone who sees no future, a person with all thoughts turned to ashes, is there an effective path to liberation?

Answer: Several years ago, I, like you, was overwhelmed both mentally and physically, experiencing a breakdown and feeling utterly despondent. However, I never contemplated death because I believed that if death could truly end all suffering, it would be a good option. Yet, many religions teach the concept of reincarnation. Death is not terrifying; what's frightening is that if reincarnation is real, ending one's life would not bring an end to suffering. Instead, it might lead to even greater suffering in future lives. That would be truly dreadful.

So, I began searching for ways to eliminate suffering. Ultimately, I discovered that as long as greed, hatred, and delusion aren't eradicated, life continues and reincarnation persists. The only way to liberation is to not be reborn, which can be achieved in the present moment. It begins by abstaining from unwholesome behavior and speech that lead to suffering. Embracing meditation helps in keeping greed and hatred at bay, and practicing mindfulness and clear comprehension prevents delusion.

Suffering is contingent on the presence of greed, hatred, and delusion. By using the methods mentioned earlier, you can prevent the arising of these mental defilements. This way, suffering no longer has a foundation to depend on, and you can experience complete freedom from suffering and affliction in the present moment. This means that suffering and affliction will not arise in the future either.

I'm providing a brief overview here. You can find more detailed methods in the "Majjhima Nikaya." Death without having extinguished greed, hatred, and delusion only leads to a more painful existence. The only path to liberation is by diligently eliminating greed, hatred, and delusion in this life. While feeling despondent may not be a good state for most people, it can serve as an excellent foundation for spiritual practice. In the past, it was precisely this despondency that allowed me to renounce everything and wholeheartedly engage in meditation. I believe you can do the same.