Some Buddhist monks attempt to mummify themselves alive—and at least two dozen have succeeded. The process involves eating only pine needles, resins & seeds to eliminate all body fat, and then slowly reducing liquid intake to zero, thus dehydrating the body and shrinking all organs, until death.

Sokushinbutsu

The body of the Thai Buddhist monk Luang Pho Daeng at Wat Khunaram, Ko Samui, Thailand

Sokushinbutsu (即身仏) are a kind of Buddhist mummy. The term refers to the practice of Buddhist monks observing asceticism to the point of death and entering mummification while alive. They are seen in a number of Buddhist countries, but the Japanese term “sokushinbutsu” is generally used.

It is believed that many hundreds of monks tried, but only 24 such mummifications have been discovered to date. There is a common suggestion that Shingon school founder Kukai brought this practice from Tang China as part of secret tantric practices he learned, and that were later lost in China.

Origin

Sokushinbutsu (mummy) of Huineng, in Shaoguan, Guangdon… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

13 thoughts on “Some Buddhist monks attempt to mummify themselves alive—and at least two dozen have succeeded. The process involves eating only pine needles, resins & seeds to eliminate all body fat, and then slowly reducing liquid intake to zero, thus dehydrating the body and shrinking all organs, until death.”

  1. wjbc

    You make it sound like a present practice. It was banned in the 1800s. And it’s easy to enforce the ban since the process takes about ten years.

  2. BeauRiot

    That corpse looks fly as hell with them shades.

  3. doryphorus99

    >The process involves eating only pine needles, resins & seeds to eliminate all body fat

    Forget keto–learn about Silicon Valley influencers’ hot new diet.

  4. TigerDragon747

    Buddha: Guys asceticism is bad and not a path to enlightenment. That level of denying yourself is bad for you.

    Buddhist monk: let me starve myself to death lol

  5. xredrabbitx19

    What are you looking at smoothskin?

  6. Astalon18

    Lord Buddha to His monks:-

    Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.
    Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata (the Perfect One) has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana. And what is that Middle Path realized by the Tathagata…? It is the Noble Eightfold path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.[3

    Monks:- Let us practice self mortification!!!!!

  7. herbmanafet

    Pretty sure the photo is from a mummy on Koh Samui in Thailand. Saw it a few years ago on a tour there. The guide gave the whole story of how the guy sat there meditating for years, only eating seeds etc, and then when he died was left in place as a mummy.

    Then in classic Thai style, with no hint of irony says “There is a possibility though, that none of this is true”.

    Still laugh about that to this day.

  8. element_number_92

    I have read about an ancient statue of a Buddhist monk which was scanned recently. It turned out that the statue had the skeleton of that meditating monk sitting inside of it.

  9. Soloskystar

    They are known as the Sect of Tree eaters (( loose translation )) It’s a process they start early on and takes decades to finish. They’ll even sit and wait for death because they pose for death in the typical meditation position. Some monks will wait till death occurs naturally. Others will take a type of arsenic to induce death.

  10. Thedrunner2

    Bobby Boucher is horrified upon reading this

  11. HiddenFlame530

    I believe this was the inspiration for the Shekiah monks inside the shrines of LOZ: Breath of the Wild, which is why they dissolve into dust after they give you the orb.

  12. dangitdanimal

    That sounds like suicide… with extra steps…

  13. GunmanChronicle

    I don’t want to know what pooping feels like on that diet.

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