Taking Turns

Yutang Lin

Playing words with mouth to show off wits,
Easy maneuver counted as genuine practice.
In leisure learning Dharma with less efforts,
Sudden calamity puts one at the end of wits.


To engage in Dharma practices one should be keenly aware of the impermanence of all things. Next moment we don't know what will happen; this moment's leisure is extremely precious. In leisure we practice so that in time of hardship we could maintain our course. Therefore, we should take practices seriously as real tests. Playing with words to show off ingenuity or falling into social gathering instead of maintaining routine sessions in solitude would put one at one's wit's end as soon as some accident arises. In one's lifetime sooner or later one would run into some difficulties. Don't wait till eating the sour karmic fruits to regret that one has not put enough efforts into daily practices.

Written in Chinese on February 3, 2002
Translated on February 14, 2002
El Cerrito, California

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