Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Until Tomorrow - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 516 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: Until Tomorrow - Khenpo Sodargye
« on: March 02, 2016, 05:21:29 am »


Until Tomorrow


Lama chen!

If we do not practice as quickly as possible, when will we get the chance to do it?

No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow. Turning the pages of The Collection of Deliberate Sayings, I found this passage: “Who is sure he will live until tomorrow? Today is the time to be ready, for the legions of Death are not on our side.”

Shiwu Qinggong, an ascetic Zen master of Yuan Dynasty, lived in rocky caves for years and had little contact with the outside world. He passed down poems on life at the mountainside; every one of them is imbued with refreshing valley flair:

Tranquil is my cave dwelling all day, could there be one flicker of earthly thought?

Wearing clothes and eating porridge I must be, yet unmoving as dead with no fire burning is my being.

This poem shows that the Zen master has transcended life and death. He advises that one should renounce worldly preoccupations and be willing to sacrifice oneself for the pursuit of truth.

Life is like an oil lamp wavering in the wind; at every moment it faces the danger of being blown out. Milan Kundera said: “Life is a tree laden with potential.” Nobody is certain what one will encounter at the next moment.

Neither can anyone be sure of waking up the next morning. Lord Nagarjuna says in Letter to a Friend:

Life flickers in the flurries of a thousand ills, more fragile than a bubble in a stream.

In sleep, each breath departs and is again drawn in; how wondrous that we wake up living still!

Master Dan Cho was a disciple of Mipham Rinpoche. When he was doing a retreat in the woods at Panma de Duoku, he would prostrate or circumambulate immediately after waking up at night. He says: “Are you so sure that you will live until tomorrow? Do you really want to go back to sleep?”

Wise people in the world also appreciate acutely the impermanence of life. Konnerup says: “Finish the task today that’s assigned for today. The sun never rises again just for you.” In The Song of Tomorrow Master Wen Jia of the Qing Dynasty says: “Tomorrow after tomorrow, too many tomorrows. Waiting always until tomorrow, nothing ever gets accomplished. ”

Fake practitioners like myself and others always put off things until tomorrow and waste precious life in distractions. Now, having the instructions given by the masters, I must urge myself: Relinquish all the trifling affairs, just practice!

11th of January, Year of RenWu
February 23, 2002

 


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