Life is short

All of us are apprenticed to the same teacher–reality. It is as hard to get the children herded into the car pool and down the road to the bus as it is to chant sutras in the Buddha-hall on a cold morning. One is not better than the other; each can be quite boring; and they both have the virtuous quality of repetition. Repetition and its good results make the very activities of our life into the path.
~ Gary Snyder

All worldly pursuits have but one unavoidable and inevitable end, which is sorrow: acquisitions end in dispersion; buildings, in destruction; meetings, in separation; births, in death. Knowing this, one should from the very first renounce acquisition and heaping-up, and building and meeting, and … set about realizing the Truth. Life is short, and the time of death is uncertain. So apply yourselves to meditation.

4 thoughts on “Life is short”

  1. Yeah, you hear it all the time that life is short. But man, life is the longest thing that will ever happen to you here… What is longer than life?

    What do you think?

  2. P.S. But I’ve forgot to mention that the second thought is very true-to-reality, I liked it a lot. Hell, I don’t even know who Milarepa is… Shame on me…….

  3. What is longer than life? That is the great mystery! No one knows. Many people think they know, but they really don’t know. I certainly don’t know.

    The second quote is actually the very first Buddhist teaching that I read and took to heart. It was many, many years ago and even before I even decided to investigate the Buddhist path. As I first came across the quote, it was simply attributed as an “Ancient Buddhist Teaching” and the last two sentences that I included above were not in the first version I saw.

    I remember that first encounter with this teaching well because it was printed in a newspaper where a friend was lamenting the death of one of their closest friends due to AIDS. It’s a poignant teaching that reminds us that we should live life for what it is, today, and not for what we think it might be tomorrow. Here’s some information on Milarepa:

  4. Wow, thank you very much for the answer, it’s only now that I’ve got my assn back here, sorry for the belated reply… I’m not into Buddhism, and thus I can’t talk much on this topic. But they do have a lot of interesting things to learn about.
    About life, well, no one knows what is longer than life, that’s true. Even if I’m wrong, which is absolutely possible, I take it as it’s an everlasting infinite existence, in whatever form. And this life is realy short in that wide meaning. But when people just talking every time in vain that life is short, they really don’t realize that this life is the longest thing they can have in this life…

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