A very compelling read

Just as every single thing is always moving inexorably closer to its ultimate dissolution, so also your own life, like a burning butterlamp, will soon be consumed. It would be foolish to think that you can first finish all your work and then retire to spend the later stages of your life practicing the Dharma. Can you be certain that you will live that long? Does death not strike the young as well as the old? No matter what you are doing, therefore, remember death and keep your mind focused on the Dharma….
A hunted criminal never has a tranquil moment. He is always alert, urgently devising a thousand schemes to escape the punishment that awaits him. You will never find him drawing plans for his future house. How can you rest when death threatens to strike at any moment? From now on, your sole recourse must be the practice of Dharma. There is no other way to turn death into something favorable….
There is a right time for everything. Farmers know when the time has come to plow, to sow, or to harvest, and they never fail to do each job when it is necessary. Now that you are in full possession of your faculties, have met a teacher, and have received his instructions, will you let the field of liberation lie uncultivated?….
Most people, thinking of the future, make a lot of plans — but the future they plan for is only the very few years of this life. This is very shortsighted; we have such a long way to go in lives to come. Death is just the threshold, which we have to cross alone, aided only by our faith in the teacher and the Three Jewels and by our confidence in the practice.
Relatives, friends, power, wealth, and whatever else we have become so used to relying on will simply no longer be there. So if you waste your life now on endless minor tasks, you can be sure that at the time of death you will weep with regret and be stricken with intense anxiety, like a thief who has just been thrown into jail and anxiously anticipates his punishment.
A person might find himself with nothing to eat, no clothes to wear, and no house to live in; but if his mind is filled with faith in his teacher and the Three Jewels, that person will both live and die with his heart always joyful and content.
– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche – On The Path to Enlightenment by Matthieu Ricard – Shambhala Publications


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