Posted by: Upāsaka | 09/03/2019

Time Is Short

There seems to be no question that the next fifty years are going to be increasingly difficult for humans on this planet. Everyday new information is released outlining the magnitude of the changes in store for all beings on this planet. If it’s not obvious by now, we humans aren’t going to mount any significant, coordinated response so any hope for avoiding catastrophe should be prudently shelved. Besides, it’s not as if cosmological and macroclimatic systems were ever under our control anyway. As above, so below. We don’t get to choose what kamma will ripen or what circumstances we will find ourselves in – at best we can influence our perceptions and decide how to react.

All of which brings me to my point: if I am to have any hope of facing true calamity with dignity, compassion and courage I need to ensure that I’m using the present, fortunate conditions to train my heart and mind. Specifically, I’m talking about silā or ethical precepts. If I can’t stop myself from harming beings, taking what’s not given, sexual misconduct, telling lies or using intoxicants now, it is sheer folly to imagine being able to do so during an unending crisis.

Time is short and it only seems to be getting shorter. May we not squander our blessings and work to transform our hearts and minds so that we may be of use to all mother beings. And, failing that, may our practice at least render us harmless to ourselves and others.

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