Having now become animals, your fathers, mothers, siblings, and friends from previous lives tremble with fear in the butcher’s sinful hands, tears streaming from their eyes, and panting for breath. In that state, they wonder what to do. Alas, there is no refuge! There is nowhere to go!
Thinking that, right now in this place, they may be killed, their urgent suffering is great. In such a state, like one approaching a terrifying pit of hellfire, their body is turned upside down, their muzzle is tied up, and their eyes move wildly with lights shining forth. What they see is their stomach being opened up. With their feet perpendicular to the ground, they are set on the path to the next life without even a quiver of compassion.
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
“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