Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Antidote to Frivolity

“The antidote to frivolousness and laziness is to meditate on impermanence. The reality is that you don’t have much time left. Every day, moment to moment, we are getting closer to death. That means our access to our precious human body is not going to last much longer. Since it is the vehicle for attain higher rebirth and enlightenment you want to use it very wisely. So when you notice this reality, how can you be laid back, and not do anything for your own happiness? This would be very unwise. So right now, train your mind into the reality of impermanence and compassion, and abandon thoughts and activities that will bring suffering.” 
-- Chhoje Tulku Rinpoche

Sometimes people critique Buddhism as a pessimistic philosophy all about suffering, but actually it is a realistic view of life. And the point of all this direct, hard-hitting talk is to bring a person to the point where they seek the answer to the suffering. And the answer is hidden in plain view if one leads the examined existence. Joy, equanimity, compassion, and love lie right beneath the surface of suffering. With just a slight turn of the awareness lens, it comes sharply into focus.

Even if we live to a ripe old age, time passes before us like a rushing river bent for the sea. So while we are not to be like little Neros fiddling while Rome burns, our time on earth can be turned into a gift of service. And that feels good.

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