No.19 On Death in Life

Given that the essence of practising the Buddha-dharma lies in “benefiting both the self and others,” it is important we become aware of the boundary between that self and others.

Towards the very end of our lives two thoughts, “Thank you” and “Sorry,” enter our consciousness. If we are able to have such thoughts in everyday life, then those thoughts in themselves demonstrate an awareness of the boundary between the self and others. An old saying in Pure Land Buddhism, “[We] think of the Buddha (namely pronouncing the Buddha Name) whilst thinking of death [in daily life],” alludes specifically to this point.


Chimyo Takehara
February 2004