The Buddha advised us to contemplate five things everyday.

I am of the nature to age, I have not gone beyond ageing.
I am of the nature to sicken, I have not gone beyond sickness.
I am of the nature to die, I have not gone beyond dying.
All that is mine, beloved and pleasing, will become otherwise, will become separated from me.

I am the owner of my kamma, heir to my kamma, born of my kamma, related to my kamma, abide supported by my kamma.

Whatever kamma I shall do, for good or for ill, of that I shall be the heir.
Thus we should frequently recollect.

The Buddha advised us to contemplate five things everyday. Firstly, “I am of the nature to age, I have not gone beyond ageing.” The second contemplation is “I am of the nature to sicken, I have not gone beyond sickness.” Thirdly, we contemplate “I am of the nature to die, I have not gone beyond dying.” The fourth contemplation is “All that is mine, beloved and pleasing, will become otherwise, will become separated from me.” Lastly, we contemplate that “I am the owner of my kamma, heir to my kamma, born of my kamma, related to my kamma, abide supported by my kamma; whatever kamma I shall do, for good or for ill, of that I shall be the heir.”

In the first three contemplations, we contemplate that we are growing old, getting sick, and eventually die. In the fourth contemplation, we contemplate that those that are beloved and dear to us (including our property), are going to change, and become separated from us. The fifth contemplation is contemplation that kamma is supporting us, and that we will inherit the result of kamma. We are the owner of our kamma, so we have to be careful about our kamma. Therefore, these are good contemplations to make.

 

So Very Close

Letter of Zen Master Ta Hui to Liu Yen-chung

So Very Close

“Just because it’s so very close, you cannot get this Truth out of your own eyes. When you open your eyes it strikes you, and when you close your eyes it’s not lacking either. When you open your mouth you speak of it, and when you shut your mouth it appears by itself. But if you try to receive it by stirring your mind, you’ve already missed it by eighteen thousand miles.”

J.C. Cleary
Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui

“这个道理。只为太近。远不出自家眼睛里。开眼便刺著。合眼处亦不缺少。开口便道著合。口处亦自现成。拟欲起心动念承当。渠早已蹉过十万八千了也。”

大慧宗杲禅师

Whatever we have, wherever we are — that is the place we can start from.

“Interdependence and emptiness show us that there are no fixed starting points. We can start from nothing. Whatever we have, wherever we are — that is the place we can start from. Many people have the idea that they lack what they need in order to start working toward their dreams. They feel they do not have enough power, or they do not have enough money. But they should know that any point is the right starting point. This is the perspective that emptiness opens up. We can start from zero.”

17th Karmapa

from the book “The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out”

Fight out Mara with the sword of wisdom.

“Realizing that this body is as fragile as a clay pot, and fortifying this mind like a well-fortified city, fight out Mara with the sword of wisdom. Then, guarding the conquest, remain unattached.”

Dhp III. Cittavagga – The Mind : Dhp 40

Acceptance of experience without judgments

“Nirvana is a fundamentally objective state of mind: an acceptance of experience without judgments, which opens us to the potential for seeing solutions that may not be directly connected to our survival as individuals, but rather to the survival of all sentient beings. ”

– Mingyur Rinpoche
from the book “The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness”

The solution lies in observing ourselves and resolving our own problems by ourselves.

“Before talking to the teacher it is better to observe yourself a bit, in that way you might find the answer for yourself. It is better to be one’s own teacher or master rather than assigning this job to someone else. That is why the teacher, and above all a Dzogchen teacher, teaches us to observe ourselves and to discover our own condition, and always asks us all to become responsible for ourselves. Why do teachers ask these things? It is not because they are worried about being bothered, but because they know very well that always turning to one’s teacher is not a solution. The solution lies in observing ourselves and resolving our own problems by ourselves. Then, if we have no way of finding a solution, the teacher can certainly help us. If everyone did this it would be much easier.”

– Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
from the book “The Foundation of the Path”

After searching for a long time, suddenly finds it in the pocket.

“The moment of awakening may be marked by an outbursts of laughter, but this is not the laughter of someone who has won the lottery or some kind of victory. It is the laughter of one who, after searching for something for a long time, suddenly finds it in the pocket of his coat.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh
from the book “Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice”