Merely months ago, a fellow Purelander kindly managed to encourage her colleague to attend the 18th run of the ‘Understanding Amituofo Via The Amitabha Sutra‘ course as a sponsored participant, even accompanying her. However, she dropped out after a couple of lessons, out of the full course of 10, saying she ‘already knows’ what is taught. This surely cannot be the case as she did not previously learn what was taught elsewhere, and more importantly, did not know what will be taught later.
In lesson 1 was an important introduction and reminder of the nature of a Buddha, such that we can appreciate the perfect character of a Buddha, one of whom we are to practise mindfulness of. Lesson 2 was an introduction to how Amituofo’s name is used in ancient and contemporary culture… and more. It is in Lesson 3 that we focus on death as an impending problem that can strike at absolutely any moment, so as to urge having a sense of urgency.
Today, there is unfortunate news that she was found deceased in her bed with cause of death under investigation. She did not even look middle-aged, last I can recall. What distressing irony, that she missed the precious essential teachings on impermanence, while taking the Dharma for granted… and probably did not know how to handle her own sudden passing.
This is a truly grave reminder… We MUST have continual Dharma learning to inspire better continual practice with our limited time left. For all who have yet to attend ‘Destination Pureland’: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2016/12/destination-pureland-how-to-have-the-best-rebirth-6th-run, I strongly urge you to do so. What shared are essential ‘deathskills’ gathered over 20 years of learning, on how to prepare for the passing of anyone, including oneself. It builds upon the ‘Understanding Amituofo’ course in much greater detail.
This (31.12.16) is the last day of the year, but also the last day of her life, though she probably passed away last night. When it comes to new year’s day, it actually marks a year closer to death, with no true cause for celebration unless we are confident we will reach Pure Land. Strive on with diligence. Amituofo