Inspirational Zen Quote on Life & Death

Zen Teachings

Since Friday is for sharing the thoughts of other Masters of Meditation, let me share with you this profound Zen Buddhism quote that has been an inspiration to me throughout my spiritual journey.  This Zen quote is often used as a prayer in Zen monasteries and I came across during my Zen Meditation training at Zen Mountain Monastery in New York.  I hope it motivates and uplifts you as much as it has me.

Zen Buddhism Quote on Life & Death:

“Let me respectfully remind you, life & death are of supreme importance.  Time passes swiftly and opportunity is lost.  Each of us must strive to awaken.  Awaken!  Take heed, do not squander your lives.”

A few important aspects of this quote that I think are worth highlighting are below.

1.  Your responsibility in life is to awaken.  Everything else is secondary.  EVERYTHING!  This does not mean you do not participate in the world, it means you participate according to the discipline your spiritual practice is creating for you.  Your supreme goal is always The Supreme.

2.  Human life is an invaluable opportunity that must not be squandered.  Don’t take this opportunity for granted and don’t waste it in pursuit of frivolous desires.

3.  Your house is on fire, this is not the time to hit the snooze button, you need to act; you need to get out!  You must have a great sense of urgency in order to summon the necessary energy to break through the trap of duality.  You can’t do this by dabbling about and being lukewarm about your dedication.  You need to have fierce passion and urgency, then you have a chance.  Act Now!

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9 replies
  1. The Small Cosmic Dustparticle
    The Small Cosmic Dustparticle says:

    Zen Is A Beautiful Art Of Living And A Beautiful Art Of Dying. The Zen Peak Is Nothingness And Emptyness, The Path Out Is Moksha … Nirvana. * Migel Konstantin

    Reply
  2. eric
    eric says:

    I was bored and just googled “death zen” and this popped up. One of my favorites and a good reminder. It woke me up to stop moping around on the internet. Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hey Albert,

    Sure will take pics when I go. I have 2 little boys so you be rest assured that the 2 items that go w/ us everywhere are diapers and…. a camera :-D.

    Best,
    Anmol

    Reply
  4. A. Decker
    A. Decker says:

    Anmol,
    Thanks for commenting on the pictures. It’s good to know they reach someone. Also, will you take a camera when you visit the Catskills? Let us know if it’s still so wild and lovely as in that 100+yr. old painting? That’d be great.
    Thanks again,
    Albert

    Reply
  5. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi A. Decker,

    Glad to be of service. Saw the picture of Elric of Melnibone on your site, which brought back many great memories as I was was big fan of that book series I believe by Michael Moorcock…

    Planning on visiting the Catskills too this Fall to see the foliage… hope to see live the sunrise as it looked pretty good in that picture as well.

    Best,
    Anmol

    Reply

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