In a Moment Life is Gone

Zen Master Dogen reminds us time and again, in a variety of ways, that life is precious. It is rare to be born a human being, rare to find Buddhism/a spiritual path, so do not leave ones life exposed to changeableness. In other words take care, take great care. Do not waste time.

The following message, left in the comments section by Dave, struck a cord with me to-day: Life is precious. That which helps you see that life is precious is precious too. So please take good care of yourself. Yes indeed.

Struggling through my day; not feeling 100% up for whacking at thistles on a windswept hillside, not managing to get my brain to function well until late in the afternoon. I’m feeling sorry for myself. Then answering emails; to a chap in serious trouble with an immune system gone wrong, oh and a phone call with somebody facing surgery and then prolonged immobility. Stressed people and stressed for very good reason. How can I feel sorry for myself? Hardly! Hardly at all.

In Britain we are familiar with John Simpson reporting from war torn somewhere. But not near here. However quite often there are people living in a ‘war zone’ right next door. Maybe not with bullets coming in the window or the door being battered down. But internally, spiritually, the level of pressure is notched up to what I call ‘war zone training’. The thing is people often don’t realize. Perhaps they are not able to take in the the multiple factors that add up. Perhaps that’s just as well…

Then, on the cloister, a chap tells me about something that had happened: …and then I knew for sure that everything in the world is fine. That there is not a (fundamental) problem. Is this OK? Yes, this is normal, I reply. Oh, OK! I didn’t even remind him not to hang on to this insight. He knew that too.

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3 thoughts on “In a Moment Life is Gone”

  1. I recall as a small child my parents explaining to me that I was ‘priceless, irreplaceable’.

    As long as I can remember I have felt quite acutely just how vulnerable we are to physical damage and have thus been so appalled by physical violence. John Simpson’s report lets us feel something of the depth of our vulnerability.

    It seems such a challenge to make the best of our time and do as little harm and as much good as we can. Engaged in the world my partner reminds me that may be spirituality is to be found in the struggle to be ‘truthful’. It can certainly seem like a battle with oneself.

    Thanks for the reminders.

  2. Yes, in asense we are living in a “war zone” wherever we are. I am often reminded of the tale of the soldier who survived Vietnam/Falklands/Iraq/Afghanistan or wherever only to get killed in a road accident at home.
    Dogen was right, life IS precious, we only have “now.”
    Your posting is a timely reminder, thanks.

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