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Monday, January 28, 2013

I am of the nature to grow old

A Buddhist friend and teacher reminded me in an email that:

"I am of the nature to grow old" and an ancient teaching  called Upajjhatthan Sutta. And just the other day I was reading another posting someone quoting Ray Kurzweil saying  “If you remain in good health for 20 more years, you may never die.” ( I guess he was referring to Boomers, and if you don't know who they are - God bless you) you might live forever. Or at least you will have a good chance of enjoying the life extension technologies which surely are at this very moment in the process of being exponentially developed.

Five remembrances

Below are two English translations and the original Pali text of the "five remembrances":
1. I am sure to become old; I cannot avoid ageing. I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging. Jarādhammomhi jaraṃ anatīto....
2. I am sure to become ill; I cannot avoid illness. I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness. Vyādhidhammomhi vyādhiṃ anatīto....
3. I am sure to die; I cannot avoid death. I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death. Maraṇadhammomhi maraṇaṃ anatīto....
4. I must be separated and parted from all that is dear and beloved to me. I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me. Sabbehi me piyehi manāpehi nānābhāvo vinābhāvo....
5. I am the owner of my actions, heir of my actions, actions are the womb (from which I have sprung), actions are my relations, actions are my protection. Whatever actions I do, good or bad, of these I shall become their heir.[1] I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.[2] Kammassakomhi kammadāyādo kammayoni kammabandhū kammapaṭisaraṇo yaṃ kammaṃ karissāmi kalyāṇaṃ vā pāpakaṃ vā tassa dāyādo bhavissāmī....[3]
The Buddha advised: "These are the five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained."[4]