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Right Thoughts at the Last Moment
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Right Thoughts at the Last Moment: Buddhism and Deathbed Practices in Early Medieval Japan

Jacqueline I. Stone

Abstract

Buddhists across Asia have often sought to die, as the Buddha himself is said to have done, with a clear and focused mind. This study explores the reception and development in early medieval Japan (roughly, tenth through fourteenth centuries) of the ideal of “dying with right mindfulness” (rinjū shōnen) and the discourses and practices in which it was embedded. By concentrating one’s thoughts on the Buddha at the moment of death, it was said, even the most evil person could escape the round of deluded rebirth and achieve birth in the Pure Land; conversely, even the slightest mental distraction ... More

Keywords: death, dying, mindfulness, rinjū shōnen, Pure Land, moment of death, ideal, ritual, Japanese religion

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780824856434
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2017 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824856434.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jacqueline I. Stone, author
Princeton University