Here, Master Hsu Yun shares a really simple and down to earth method for cultivating peace of mind – cultivate the graceful and elegant poise of someone who knows that they are about to die and wants to make peace with everyone and everything in the world.
How would you live if you know that you don’t have much time left? How would you treat people? How would you take insults and abuse? How would you cultivate qualities of your own heart?
Beyond meditation practice, there is attitude.
A beginner must learn to cultivate what is called, “the poise of a dying man”.
What is this poise?
It is the poise of knowing what is important and what is not, and of being accepting and forgiving.
Anyone who has ever been at the bedside of a dying man will understand this poise.
- What would the dying man do if someone were to insult him? Nothing.
- What would the dying man do if someone were to strike him? Nothing.
- As he lay there, would he scheme to become famous or wealthy? No.
- If someone who had once offended him were to ask him for his forgiveness would he not give it? Of course he would.
A dying man knows the pointlessness of enmity. Hatred is always such a wretched feeling. Who wishes to die feeling hatred in his heart? No one.
The dying seek love and peace.
- There was a time when that dying man indulged himself with feelings of pride, greed, lust and anger, but now such feelings are gone.
- There was a time when he indulged his bad habits, but now he is free of them.
He carries nothing. He has laid his burdens down. He is at peace.
Dear friends, when we have breathed our last, this physical body of ours will become a corpse. If we strive now to regard this physical body as a corpse, that peace will come to us sooner.
If we regarded each day of our life as if it were our last day, we wouldn’t waste one precious minute in frivolous pursuits or in grudging, injurious anger.
- We wouldn’t neglect to show love and gratitude to those who had been kind to us.
- We wouldn’t withhold our forgiveness for any offense, small or great.
And if we had erred, wouldn’t we ask for forgiveness, even with our dying breath?