In the great work of life and death, time will not wait for you.
If you die tomorrow, what kind of body will you get?
Is not all of this of great importance?
Hurry up! Hurry!
Blue sky and green sea
Are the Buddha’s original face.
The sound of the waterfall and the bird’s song
Are the great sutras.
Where are you going?
Watch your step.
Water flows down to the sea.
Clouds float up to the heavens.
– Seung Sahn
“When Chuang Tzu was about to die, his disciples began planning a splendid funeral. But he said: “I shall have heaven and earth for my coffin; the sun and moon will be the jade symbols hanging by my side; planets and constellations will shine as jewels all around me, and all beings will be present as mourners at the wake. What more is needed? Everything is amply taken care of! “
But they said: “We fear that crows and kites will eat our Master.”
“Well,” said Chuang Tzu, “above ground I shall be eaten by crows and kites, below it by ants and worms. In either case I shall be eaten. Why are you so partial to birds?”
“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, No Death, No Fear
Strive to accomplish the supreme unchanging goal. For life is passing, and there is no certainty about the time of death. Even if you should die tomorrow, you should have confidence and be without regret.
– Dudjom Rinpoche
from the book “Counsels from My Heart”
ISBN: 978-1570629228 – http://amzn.to/13heeyE
“As a Buddhist, I view death as a normal process, a reality that I accept will occur as long as I remain in this earthly existence. Knowing that I cannot escape it, I see no point in worrying about it. I tend to think of death as being like changing your clothes when they are old and worn out, rather than as some final end. Yet death is unpredictable: We do not know when or how it will take place. So it is only sensible to take certain precautions before it actually happens.”
Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
“Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity — but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our “biography,” our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are?
Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn’t that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?”