We need to always reflect on impermanence, as we will not be forever enjoying this present state of freedom of doing as we wish. In a matter of time, we will depart from our weeping loved ones and move towards death, becoming finally a skeleton or heap of ash. This is something definite. Who knows when it will happen? It may be tomorrow or the day after, it could be this month or next month, in any case, within 50 years, i believe that death will definitely present itself to us.
50 years seems like a very long time, but think carefully, it is not long at all. In the past one year, did the 365 days in our memories seem like a long time? Didn’t it just slip past us so quickly?
The busy memories of the New Year seemed to have just occurred in our minds, but unknowingly it is now the summer season, in another few months, it will become autumn and then another year has passed in a blink. This morning when we were doing our meditation session, it was still around dawn, but in another few hours, afternoon has arrived, and a few more hours, it is again time to retire to bed and one day’s time of 24 hours have silently trickled out of our lives. So time really passes swiftly and we are obliviously walking step by step towards the end of our lives.
Of course, requiring the layperson to spend all his time on practice is impractical. Even if the teacher demands this, the disciple would not be able to do it. But no matter how, we should strive in this direction in our ordinary lives. As a practitioner, we should not deceive ourselves or others, but think more about impermanence, making full use of the time to practice Dharma, this point is truly so important!
Practice is really a kind of austerity because when we pit ourselves against our habitual tendencies, our mind must not be allowed to continue in the habits of past. We should muster our mindfulness and bring our minds back to the right view. At this moment, practice may seem to you to be an austere or difficult practice, but even if it is somewhat suffering, what it brings in the end is ultimate happiness. Therefore, in order to accomplish this happiness, we need to do it like this.
Think about it deeply, even the worldly people have to make arduous efforts to succeed in their worldly activities, it is not easy to achieve their aims. So Dharma practice is the same, wishing to gain the fruit without making an effort, wishing to be liberated without striving diligently is not realistic. Especially since Dharma practice is for taming our minds, something that we can neither see nor touch, this requires us to always be contemplating impermanence, maintaining mindfulness and practicing diligently, therefore to always reflect on impermanence, to practice the dharma and to bear difficulties with patience is very important.