Adjusting Wishes

Yutang Lin

Senile patient not forgetting to pray for son's business,
Only appropriate to concentrate on treatment of illness.
Prime youth worrying about delusion when death arrives,
Rather vow to cultivate wisdom and compassion while alive.


Buddhist friends asked me to pray for them. One was senile with severe illness; in addition to asking for recovery, he also wanted his son's business to be prosperous. Under his circumstances, it would be better to let go of worrying for his children and concentrate instead on maintenance of health and chanting of "Amitabha." Another was in her prime but worrying about, when death approaches, karmic hindrances might arise to interfere with the repetition of "Amitabha" and void the chance to gain rebirth in Amitabha Pureland. For a person in prime years it is much better to set the goal high, wishing instead to dedicate the remaining years toward Dharma practices and services, and thereby cultivate the growth and proliferation of compassion and wisdom. In good time causal consequences are certain to follow; if one could develop such vows and diligently pursue the course, why need one worry about future life?

Written in Chinese on January 14, 2001
Translated on January 15, 2001
El Cerrito, California

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