The Meditation on the Two Brandos

brando

For many centuries and up until the present day, Buddhist ascetics have used contemplation of their body and its transformation into a rapidly disintegrating corpse as a sobering exercise – as a practice that reconfigures their relationship to their sense of self and deepens their appreciation of impermanence. In some cases, meditators have even visited charnel grounds and cremation sites where they have observed corpses directly to amplify their reflections. Not all of us have such opportunities. Therefore, for those of us who do not have ready access to a fresh corpse, but who would still like to practice, I offer as substitute the meditation on the two Marlons, also known as the contemplation of the young and old Brando.

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