Another Look What “Death” Is: Photos of ‘Sky Burials’ in Tibet

OK, this is some pretty rough stuff. But it really made me think about about how we deal with our deceased in Western countries. I suppose in some ways it’s appropriate for Earth Day. Or Halloween. Take your pick.

NOT FOR SENSITIVE SOULS!

Sky Burial

Click through to mbvtravel to see the full set of photos. You have been warned.

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  • http://www.theamericanbookofthedead.com Henry Baum

    Holy Jeebus, that was powerful.

  • dumbsaint

    Makes a lot of sense. We're all worm food anyway.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Macabre images. But the guy is dead already. Eaten by birds or lying in a coffin. Still dead.

    Not sure why they need to splay open the body like that, I'm sure the birds don't need the carcass pre-prepared. I guess that's part of the “ritual”. Alive one day, bird food the next….the cycle of life and death continues. Wheeeeeee!

    • perzephone

      Buzzards & vultures have relatively soft beaks, so they need a predator (or in this case, some assistance) to tear open carcasses for them.

      • GoodDoktorBad

        That explaines it, Thanks…

        • perzephone

          Anytime :)

  • pb

    This is definitely the way I want my remains to be disposed of.

  • oman28

    Now thats a funeral I can afford.

  • sf

    oh d-d-dear…

    more graphic than I had predicted.

  • Borgar

    Makes me feel mortal.

  • Gregory

    I like it. “Sky burial” but it's not a burial. Really does show the illusory sense of self that we attach to the body. Once the body no longer lives, better to put it back into the system like this than to bury it or even burn it so you can go visit the grave or keep an urn. The body is not the person.

    Feed the birds…tuppence tuppence…feed the birds…tuppence a corpse…

    • GoodDoktorBad

      Just a spoon full of sugar helps the corpse go down….

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  • perzephone

    Buzzards & vultures have relatively soft beaks, so they need a predator (or in this case, some assistance) to tear open carcasses for them.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    That explaines it, Thanks…

  • perzephone

    Anytime :)

  • scarsdontbleed

    It was funny how that guy was wearing a plastic smock so his clothes didn't get messy…. but gloves? Who needs 'em! haha One time, I told my family I wanted to be eaten by sharks. They looked at me like I was crazy. I thought it was creative. :-)

  • justagirl

    i am guessing he is not a loved one of the deceased… what is he doing with the remains? i like the shark idea. i don't want to rot in a coffin either. i like donnie's ceremony in the big lebowski.

  • airborne11

    There is an air burial in Cerements, which was a short story in World's End, the 8th volume of The Sandman…that was the first I had ever heard of them. I will refrain from looking at the pics but I respect the practice and can see how it does have some practical applications.

  • raniahussein

    That was mortal but powerful

    http://www.squidoo.com/womensera

  • 5by5

    Speaking as a Buddhist, this is considered to be the final act of charity you can engage in, essentially giving of your now unneeded body to nourish other living beings.

    And especially in the harsh environment of Tibet where food is scarce, this is a profound act of generosity.

    Generally as a culture, Tibetans have a different relationship with death than we do anyways. It is not something hidden away underground. It is recognize that from the moment you’re born, you’re in the process of dying. All things that have a beginning, have an end, and its important to look at this unflinchingly if we are to attain enlightenment, simply because it is reality.

  • 5by5

    Speaking as a Buddhist, this is considered to be the final act of charity you can engage in, essentially giving of your now unneeded body to nourish other living beings.

    And especially in the harsh environment of Tibet where food is scarce, this is a profound act of generosity.

    Generally as a culture, Tibetans have a different relationship with death than we do anyways. It is not something hidden away underground. It is recognize that from the moment you're born, you're in the process of dying. All things that have a beginning, have an end, and its important to look at this unflinchingly if we are to attain enlightenment, simply because it is reality.

  • 5by5

    Speaking as a Buddhist, this is considered to be the final act of charity you can engage in, essentially giving of your now unneeded body to nourish other living beings.

    And especially in the harsh environment of Tibet where food is scarce, this is a profound act of generosity.

    Generally as a culture, Tibetans have a different relationship with death than we do anyways. It is not something hidden away underground. It is recognize that from the moment you're born, you're in the process of dying. All things that have a beginning, have an end, and its important to look at this unflinchingly if we are to attain enlightenment, simply because it is reality.

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