Many of us, especially in the West, fear death in all its aspects. It’s seen as the end of everything we cherish – a door slammed, a book closed, a voice and a soul silenced forever. It hasn’t always been seen that way, however, and for some cultures around the world it still isn’t the norm. While skulls and skeletons and bones may send a shiver down our spines, for some world cultures the connotations are quite different. As it happens, skulls, human skulls (and bones, too), are frequently used in the rituals and practical life of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. While this use of skulls and bones is indeed aligned with death, this fact of death is not as morbid as it is many other places: it’s just the way it is. The skulls and bones are intended to remind us of the very fact of our Impermanence, that death will eventually come to us all, and to embrace lives filled with compassion, service, loving all, and happiness (without the pursuit of happiness) whether the things happening in our life are good or bad.
To read more about the meaning of skulls, click here.