One of the aids to meditation is Contemplation.
Osho Rajneesh in one of his books tells the story of
contemplation regarding the Buddha. It is a famous story and
very meaningful. The Buddha was born a prince and he was so
brought up that he had no conception of the suffering that
exists in this world. His father arranged it so that he should
not know that in life people fall sick, that they grow and old
and that they die. The father wanted the Buddha to never meet
anybody old or sick, to never be informed of suffering. But when
he was 29 the Buddha toured the kingdom around his palace and
saw one after the other, a sick man, an old man and a dead man.
He asked his charioteer what these men were suffering from and
for the first time in his life learned that there exists death
in the world and that even he was not exempt and would die one
The Buddha's father wanted to do everything to prevent
contemplation from arising in the Buddha. I am telling you the
exact opposite. Contemplate on life, how everything is subject
to change, how death is inevitable and life is fleeting.
This chance encounter changed the Buddha's life and he resolved
to seek the path to the end of suffering and became enlightened.
It is a Buddhist tradition that a junior monk when he first
joins the order - he is sent to the crematorium for 3 to 6
months and told to observe and meditate on all that takes place
there. The Buddhists place a high emphasis on the contemplation
of death because they know that to do so bring out a zest for
life, a longing for truth, for religion and for the ultimate