March 8 : I Must Say Farewell
Think, therefore, upon seeing and hearing of others’ deaths, I am no different. Death will soon come. Its certainty is no doubt, but no certainty as to when. I must say farewell to my body, wealth and friends, but good and bad deeds will follow like shadows.
“I must say farewell to my body.” Wealth, friends and relatives, and our bodies are probably the three things we are most attached to. We want the possessions, the success and comfort that wealth represent. We want friends and relatives for emotional security, success, appreciation, and everything they represent. Our body, which has been with us from the time of birth, that we have never been separated from, that we adore dearly, and spend so much of our lives taking care of, at the time we die, this body stays here, and our consciousness goes on alone with all the karmic seeds that we have created with respect to this body.
We are like guests in the hotel that we call our body during this life, but when we die our body stays here. We cannot take it with us. What have we done with this body to further our aim of Buddhahood? What have we done to create virtuous causes to attain a good rebirth, to get another good body, or great wealth or virtuous friends?
All alone we go to our next life. But we can take actions in this life to support us as we journey through samsara. We can take actions with our body, wealth and friends that help us to create the causes that will ripen into virtuous karma, no matter where we end up in our next lives.
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