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Life is short. Be kind.

Dried BouquetA lot of people I know have experienced loss recently. Loss is particularly hard when your last words to the deceased person were spoken in anger.

I don’t know whether you’ll get married. I don’t know whether you’ll have children or grandchildren. I don’t know if you’ll be kind. But I know you’ll die. Because that’s something we all do. Death is something we often don’t want to think about, even though it’s inescapable and a simple fact of life.

Hence,in the Buddhist teachings, we find reflections such as this:

Those who have come to be,
those who will be:
All will go,
leaving the body behind.
The skillful person,
realizing the loss of all,
should live the holy life
ardently.

And this:

There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.

We don’t want to think about death, so we have to make a conscious effort to do so.

This may, for all we know, be my last post on this blog. You, for all I know, may have already passed away before my finger hits the “publish” button. For all I know, this post has been written by a corpse, for a corpse.

Life is short. Be kind.

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About Bodhipaksa

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Bodhipaksa is a Buddhist practitioner and teacher, a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, and a published author. He founded Wildmind in 2001. Bodhipaksa has published many guided meditation CDs and guided meditation MP3s.

He teaches at Aryaloka Buddhist Center in Newmarket, New Hampshire. You can follow Bodhipaksa on Twitter, join him on Facebook, or hang out with him on .

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Comments

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Comment from Paul McKenna
Time: January 25, 2013, 6:37 pm

Concise and touching. Thanks for the reminder.

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Comment from Matthew Cheyne
Time: January 26, 2013, 3:34 am

A beautifully written piece on a subject that will touch us all and occur to all of us.

When I was six years old I had a great grandmother whom I said something to in an outburst of anger. I still remember the look of hurt and shock on her face at what I had said. That was the last time I saw her and then as a nine year old I was told of her death and it tore me to pieces because of what I did. It took me many years to understand that I was only six years old at the time and didn’t understand the full ramifications of what I was saying.

Fast forward to today. I am a 35 year old man, a Buddhist and I have unsettled quarrels in my life with family members who abandoned me when I was 23 years old, homeless and in need of a place to say.

This teaching is true and touches me to the core but is very very hard to follow.

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Comment from Jayne thomas
Time: January 26, 2013, 3:52 am

It is difficult as a new Buddhist to think about death,
However, when reminders are written
this way it’s not so easy to forget. Thank you.

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Comment from Karen Hastings
Time: January 28, 2013, 3:22 pm

This is beautiful and so very true!Thanks for posting.

Peace and blessings,
Karen

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