32 parts, The Path Of Purification and The Grateful Dead

32 parts, The Path Of Purification and The Grateful Dead
If anyone would like to guess what 32 parts meditation looks like to the practitioner, it does not look like this, but it gives a good idea able about what is seen without any practice or hallucinogens. This website has several pictures in addition to the one shown. http://www.buzzfeed.com/natashaumer/fascinating-x-rays-that-will-change-the-way-you-look-at-t#.yywpr4maQ

It should be noted that The Grateful Dead has dancing skeletons, and other skeleton motifs including the "Steal Your Face" taken from a classic narcotic song called "He's Gone"

"Like I told you,
What I said,
He'll steal your face right off your head
Now he is gone,
And nothing's gonna bring him back
He's gone."

Perhaps the "steal your face" quote was speaking of what the mind can do?
Perhaps, "And nothing's gonna bring him back" could refer to the Arahant who will not be reborn?
Well I doubt it was intended, but maybe, and it sure fits nicely.

Here is a quote from the Ancient Buddhist meditation manual.
THE PATH 0F PURIFICATION, Nyanamoli, free BPS locked pdf (used without permission, not needed for short excerpts, scanned with Android "OCR Instantly Free" from screen shots.)

He only apprehends what is really there Like the Elder Maha Tissa who dwelt at
Cetiyapabbata.
55. It seems that as the elder was on his way from Cetiyapabbata to Anuradhapura
for alms, a certain daughter in law of a clan, who had quarrelled with her husband
and had set out early from Anuradhapura all dressed up and tricked out like a
celestial nymph to go to her relatives’ home, saw him on the road, and being low-
minded, [21] she laughed a loud laugh. [Wondering] "What is that?” the elder
looked up and finding in the bones of her teeth the perception of foulness (ugliness),
he reached Arahantship.15 Hence it was said:

"He saw the bones that were her teeth
And kept in mind his first perception;
And standing on that very spot
The elder became an Arahant.”

But her husband, who was going after her, saw the elder and asked, "Venerable sir, did you by any chance see a woman?” The elder told him:

"Whether it was a man or woman
That went by I noticed not,
But only that on this high road
There goes a group of bones."

Footnote or sub-commentary
15. "As the elder was going along (occupied) only in keeping his meditation subject
in mind, since noise is a thorn to those in the early stage, he looked up with the noise of
the laughter, (wondering) ’What is that?’ ’Perception of foulness’ is perception of bones;
for the elder was then making bones his meditation subject. The elder, it seems as soon
as he saw her teeth-bones while she was laughing, got the counterpart sign with access
jhāna because he had developed the preliminary-work well. While he stood there he
reached the first jhāna. Then he made that the basis for insight, which he augmented
until he attained the paths one after the other and reached destruction of cankers”
(Vism—mht 41-42).

My note: The teeth can be an easier way to see the scull-face skeleton because the skull-face is much smaller than the external skin-face. The teeth can help one see that smaller portion and then the rest of the skeleton can appear.

Article by Bhikkhu Subhuti

Bhikkhu Subhuti is an American Buddhist Monk with roots in both Sri Lanka and Myanmar Forest Traditions. He currently resides in Myanmar but his heart sometimes floats back to Kauai, HI where he spent six months in 2015.