Set aside Worldly Considerations

Yutang Lin

Two monks aspired to pilgrimage to Mount Pu Tuo.
Poor one embarked with only the begging bowl.
Having visited Guan Yin and returned home,
He found the rich one still looking for more funds.


In school there was one story in textbook: Two monks aspired to go on pilgrimage to Mount Pu Tuo, the holy place of Guan Yin (Avalokitesvara). The poor one immediately embarked with only the begging bowl. Three years later, he accomplished the pilgrimage and returned home. He found the rich one still complaining about not enough funds to go on the pilgrimage. Among Buddhist friends there was one who wanted to devote wholly to practice after retirement but passed away in an accident, and another who wanted to devote wholly to practice five years later but soon died of cancer. Both of them died unexpectedly in the prime of their lives. Now there are still Buddhist friends who are waiting for sufficient savings to retire so as to engage in Dharma practice. From the above it seems that, if it is put off till later, then it could hardly ever realize. Whoever aspires to attain enlightenment should put worldly things outside considerations and immediately devote wholly to Dharma practice. Only then could such a noble aspiration ever have a chance of realization. Each one has his or her particular situation; it is not my place to evaluate others or to try pushing others in any direction. This article is only about the reality of this matter of devoted practice, and is written with the hope that it might remind someone who has aspired toward the cultivation of Bodhicitta to make up their mind earlier.

Written in Chinese and translated on December 21, 1999
El Cerrito, California

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