„Can you understand this…?”

„You have been alive a long time. Your eyes have seen any number of forms and colors, your ears have heard so many sounds, and you’ve had any number of experiences. And that’s all they were— just experiences. You’ve eaten delicious foods and all the good tastes were just good tastes, nothing more. The unpleasant tastes were just unpleasant tastes, that’s all. If the eye sees a beautiful form, that’s all it is, just a beautiful form. An ugly form is just an ugly form. The ear hears an entrancing, melodious sound, and it’s nothing more than that. A grating, disharmonious sound is simply so.

The Buddha said that rich or poor, young or old, human or animal, no being in this world can maintain itself in any one state for long; everything experiences change and estrangement. This is a fact of life that we can do nothing to remedy. But the Buddha said that what we can do is to contemplate the body and mind so as to see their impersonality, see that neither of them is “me” or “mine.” They have a merely provisional reality. It’s like this house: it’s only nominally yours, you couldn’t take it with you anywhere.”

„As soon as we’re born, we’re dead. Our birth and our death are just one thing. It’s like a tree: when there’s a root there must be twigs. When there are twigs, there must be a root. You can’t have one without the other. It’s a little funny to see how at a death people are so grief-stricken and distracted, fearful and sad, and at a birth how happy and delighted. It’s delusion; nobody has ever looked at this clearly. I think if you really want to cry, then it would be better to do so when someone’s born. For actually birth is death, death is birth, the root is the twig, the twig is the root. If you’ve got to cry, cry at the root, cry at the birth. Look closely: if there were no birth, there would be no death. Can you understand this?”

From "Advice for Someone Who is Dying"

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