Dharma Card for February


Yet we think only of prolonging this life for as long as
possible, without ever aspiring to birth in the Pure Land in
the afterlife.  This is inexpressibly deplorable.

--- Rennyo Shonin

(Letters 4-2)  


Patient: Doctor, the last crown seems to have been spoiled too
soon. Wasn’t the material good enough?  How long
will this crown last this time?

Dentist: (Offended) How long do you expect you will live?

Patient: (Aghast)  Mmmm.

            *   *   *   *   *

The patient in the above dialogue (ten years ago) was me,
to my humiliation.  Taking it for granted that I would survive the
crown, I was taken aback. I had not realized this blind spot of
mine while preaching the transience of human life to people.

At that moment I was reminded of the above admonition by
Rennyo Shonin and was ashamed of the deplorable reality of
my own mind.

It is not that we are living in order to die, but if we live

in complete indifference to death, that would be “slumbering
one’s life away”. Hence Okaru’s entreaty:  “Please think well
about your life and death while still alive; after your life has
ended, it will be just an afterthought.”