Thursday, March 5, 2009

The root is branch

Yesterday while waiting for Mutsumi to do a bit of shopping, I wandered over to the magazine rack, where I found the 30 year anniversary issue of Shambala Sun, in which I found this lovely piece from Ajahn Chah consoling someone approaching death.

The things you can find in supermarkets. ;-)

As soon as we are born we are dead. Our birth and our death are just one thing. It's like a tree: when there's a root there must be branches, when there are branches there must be a root. You can't have one without the other. It's a little funny to see how at death people are so grief stricken and distracted and at birth how happy and delighted. It's delusion, nobody has ever looked at this clearly. I think if you really want to cry it would be better to do so when someone's born. Birth is death, death is birth; the branch is the root, the root is the branch. If you must cry, cry at the root, cry at the birth. Look closely: if there was no birth there would be no death. Can you understand this?

Don't worry about things too much, just think "this is the way things are." This is your work, your duty. Right now nobody can help you, there's nothing that your family and possessions can do for you. all that can help you now is clear awareness.

So don't waver. Let go. Throw it all away.

Our Real Home
Ajahn Chah



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