Cambodia Retreat March 27, 1996.
Recently, several practitioners that I knew passed away, and I also felt a little bit affected. Though I know this is illusionary, I felt as if I was lacking something.
WHEN DEATH OCCURRED to the child of Marpa, Milarepa's master, he cried so sadly that his disciples flocked around him and asked, "Master, didn't you say that the world is only an illusion? Why are you crying so brokenheartedly just because your son has died?"
MARPA ANSWERED THEM, "Yes, everything is illusionary, but the death of a child is the greatest illusion of them all!" (Master and everyone laugh.)
HE couldn't bear it.
WHEN THE BIRTH or death relates to us or to our relatives and friends, our feelings are involved. Then we realize clearly that the world is indeed ephemeral. The world is truly unreliable. If it is other people's business, we wouldn't be so deeply affected emotionally. We might even talk lightheartedly, "Well! Never mind! The world is ephemeral; people come and go all the time." (Master laughs.) We may even console them. However, when it concerns our personal feelings, or when it happens to our relatives or friends, we will have different feelings.
SOMETIMES, BECAUSE we, ourselves, cannot perceive the impermanence of the world, God gives us some mishaps, using the so-called shock treatment to awaken us. Only then will we be deeply impressed.
THIS WORLD IS really not a permanent place. Wars, calamities or sorrowful situations also function as an effective but bitter medicine to help us understand what we are here for. Whatever you want to do, then do it quickly; otherwise, time is running out!
ONLY WHEN OUR relatives, friends or our loved ones pass away, then we are truly shocked and realize that it could happen to us tomorrow. At that time, we feel we should pursue spiritual practice quickly, and understand our inner self as soon as possible.