The Element of Time

Yutang Lin

The evolution of all matters is
Often hinged on the time element in their handlings

To direct the course of one's life
One must learn to judge and grasp opportunities

If the fruits of enlightenment are desired to be tasted
One must seize this moment
And employ all sorts of skillful means
To transform one's activities into Dharma practices

Waited till one is already sick, weak, disabled, or senile
And even up to the dying hours
How many could suddenly transform into
One who wants to practice Dharma and still capable of doing so

If one is dependent on others to pray for, to bestow blessing,
Or to dedicate merits of charity or Dharma activities
It is not for sure that one could find on the spur of the moment
Such help from a virtuous and accomplished practitioner
And how much merit will be needed to be accumulated
To compensate for one's karmic debts in the beginningless past

Better to immediately engage diligently in Dharma practices
Those who know to make efforts on their own
Are certainly more likely to receive help readily

Written in Chinese and translated on October 3, 2010
El Cerrito, California

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