Reflecting after Death

Yutang Lin

Looking only at life, one keeps winding;
Reflecting after death, things are simple.
Matters inconsequential, end them early;
Deeds of universal merit, work on some.


Worldlings usually care only about life, and consequently they are preoccupied with incessant entanglements. Alas, most of their efforts are wasted on matters lacking long-lasting benefits. If one could reflect through the mirror of others' lives, and look back from after their death, then their life-stories would remind the living that one should not be preoccupied with matters inconsequential but, instead, had better engage in activities that are of real significance and contribution. If one could see things from such a point of view, only then could one renounce worldly social activities to engage in some long-term service and be content with its inherent loneliness.

Written in Chinese on November 20, 2002
Translated on November 25, 2002
El Cerrito, California

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