Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Impermanence of Life

Let us welcome Hui and Hong for joining us in the prayer tonight. Their parents practised and travelled with us in the past. Their mother was seriously ill and passed away recently – such is the impermanence of life. “Impermanence” can occur at any time and to everyone. Their mother has been reborn in the Western Blissful Pureland. She will continue her spiritual cultivation in the pureland and return to this world one day (when she is ready to help others). She wished to see her children take their spiritual cultivation seriously.

When we reach the end of this life, we will then realize that the true purpose of life is to find our way back to our true origin; the rest of the things in life are just passing clouds which will simply disappear in no time. Regardless of how much love, money or children you have in this life, soon, you will draw your last breath and leave everything behind.

This is life – when you still love someone, everything will seem fine; when love disappears between both of you, you will turn towards the other extreme (of hatred) and conflicts will creep into the relationship; what did not seem to matter much in the past will become the source of conflicts. You could tolerate each other out of love, and you will try to work things out amicably. But when love turns into hatred, you will become enemies and strangers instead. You become husband and wife, parent and children in this life based on an affinity worth cherishing. However, at the same time, we ought to understand that such affinity is temporal, which lasts only this life time. So, we should also learn to let go of our attachment to a temporal affair. When you love someone too deeply, it will become an obstacle instead – it is relative.

In the past, I wished that I had nothing in my life because when one develops a very strong sense of impermanence in him, he will wish for nothing that will perturb his mind. When we fall in love, we should cherish the relationship. When love disappears, we should let it go. It is fine to have love and have not. Spiritual cultivation is about maintaining a calm and composed mind at all times. We will feel happy over having a good family, children and career. We should also feel fine over having none of these relationships. No kid – fine. No love – fine. Not having anything – fine too. Regardless of whether we have something or nothing, we should stay on the middle path.

When we do have something, we should feel happy! When we do not, we should feel happy too! However, the commoners will feel happy over what they have and moan over what they lose – thus they will be stranded in the cyclic existence perpetually.

So, spiritual cultivation is more important, without which one will never be able to break free from the endless cycle of birth and death. There are numerous merits associated with spiritual cultivation – it can change your life. The Eradication Practice in Vajrayana can eradicate the calamities befalling you; the Accumulation Practice will bring you wealth; the Loving Practice will make you likable to others; the Elimination Practice will protect you from being harmed by others. Spiritual cultivation is full of merits. However, after obtaining the worldly possessions, we should not become too attached to them. Instead, we will need to constantly remind ourselves of “impermanence” and be prepared to let go of them anytime. I hope to see both of you (Hui and Hong) joining us frequently in our group practice from now on.