Death of Someone Else  

Yutang Lin



Usually we are quite used to
Facing matters irrelevant to oneself in a careless manner
Even upon learning the death of someone else
At most one or two exclamations uttered
Then back to life as usual

Even though such deaths are someone else's
But their ways and kinds are so various and multiple
Indeed they are wakening calls to remind us that
None of us could escape from being one among them

Too many deaths accidental and sudden
Or took places right in the prime of life
Departure between living and dead ones often takes place at a blink
Either one starts right away to do things that one would or should be doing
Or, if one fancies that things could be procrastinated for the future
Then it is hardly avoidable that eventually only delusions sustained

If one does not immediately start to reflect on life itself
Still remains in the habit of passing days as they are passable
Then the so-called "human life" is nothing but
Unknowingly born
Delusively and anxiously lived, and
Ignorantly died

Be thankful to learning of others' deaths
They allow us to have more opportunities to attain awakening
And causing us to redirect our body and mind toward
Endeavoring to learn and practice the precious Dharma
Thus, eventually we would sublimate this human existence into
A compassionate journey providing salvation to ourselves and all others

Yesterday I received the news that disciple Jing Xing (Pure Conduct) passed away at a
prime age; upon reflection I wrote this one this morning.

Written in Chinese and translated on November 24, 2011
The Thanksgiving Day
El Cerrito, California