we should practice while we're young
Why Are We Here 8 為何我們生於此?之八
These are things which we should contemplate while we still have some vigor, we should
practice while we're young. If you want to make merit then hurry up and do so, don't just leave it
up to the oldies. Most people just wait until they get old before they will go to a monastery and try
to practice Dhamma. Women and men say the same thing..."Wait till I get old first."
I don't know why they say that, does an old person have much vigor? Let them try racing with
a young person and see what the difference is. Why do they leave it till they get old? Just like
they're never going to die. When they get to fifty or sixty years old or more..."Hey, Grandma!
Let's go to the monastery!" "You go ahead, my ears aren't so good any more."
You see what I mean? When her ears were good what was she listening to? "Beats me!" ... just
dallying with the berries. Finally when her ears are gone she goes to the temple. It's hopeless.
She listens to the sermon but she hasn't got a clue what they're saying. People wait till they're all
used up before they'll think of practicing the Dhamma.
Today's talk may be useful for those of you who can understand it. These are things which you
should begin to observe, they are our inheritance. They will gradually get heavier and heavier,
a burden for each of us to bear. In the past my legs were strong, I could run. Now just walking
around they feel heavy. Before, my legs carried me. Now, I have to carry them. When I was a
child I'd see old people getting up from their seat..."Oh!" Getting up they groan, "Oh!" There's
always this "Oh!" But they don't know what it is that makes them groan like that.
Even when it gets to this extent people don't see the bane of the body. You never know when
you're going to be parted from it. what's causing all the pain is simply conditions going about
their natural way. People call it arthritis, rheumatism, gout and so on, the doctor prescribes
medicines, but it never completely heals. In the end it falls apart, even the doctor! This is
conditions faring along their natural course. This is their way, their nature.
Now take a look at this. If you see it in advance you'll be better off, like seeing a poisonous
snake on the path ahead of you. If you see it there you can get out of its way and not get bitten.
If you don't see it you may keep on walking and step on it. And then it bites.
If suffering arises people don't know what to do. Where to go to treat it? They want to avoid
suffering, they want to be free of it but they don't know how to treat it when it arises. And they
live on like this until they get old...and sick...and die...
In olden times it was said that if someone was mortally ill one of the next of kin should whisper "
Bud-dho, Bud-dho" in their ear. What are they going to do with Buddho? what good is Buddho going to be for
them when they're almost on the funeral pyre? Why didn't they learn Buddho when they were
young and healthy? Now with the breaths coming fitfully you go up and say, "Mother...Buddho,
Buddho!" Why waste your time? You'll only confuse her, let her go peacefully.
People don't know how to solve problems within their own hearts, they don't have a refuge. They
get angry easily and have a lot of desires. Why is this? Because they have no refuge.