Even The Solar System Dies
‘Mind Training Like The Rays of The Sun’ pg. 31 quotes from the ‘Friendly Letter’ byNagarjuna:
If the earth, Mt. Meru, the oceans and embodied beings
Will be burnt up in the blaze of seven suns
So not even dust will remain,
What need is there to speak of human fragility.
I’m not sure about the seven suns and Mt. Meru, but many years from now our sun will one day expand and swallow the Earth, Mt. Everest and all the Himalayas, “the oceans and embodied beings”, so that “not even dust will remain”.
The Sun, the Earth, and the whole solar system will die. All of my friends and family will die one day, and one day I will die and you will die. I’m sorry to break it to you buddy. There is no escape or other way out apart from death.
“Tick-tock” is used to refer to the time available to have children. But time is running out for both men and women to live, moment by moment.
It seems strange that so much time is spent on frivolous things. We only have so much time alive, why is so much of it spent on in these wasteful ways? Why not spend them on more substantial and more meaningful things? Why not try to make the most of every moment and squeeze the most out of every experience?
I mean this in both the (a) practical day-to-day things, as well as the (b) spiritual development things.
(a) Practical day-to-day things: spending time with your family and friends, helping people, and doing things that you really enjoy doing.
(b) Spiritual development: spending time reading Dharma books and listening to Dharma teachings, reflecting on the meaning of the teaching and how it fits within my life, as well as in formal meditation on the cushion.
Modern Time Sinks
Here are some modern day-to-day time sinks:
- Going on a 12 hour TV / movie binge.
- Getting drunk. There is the time spent drinking, that writes off any time you have before going to bed (because you’re drunk), and the next day you might have a terrible hang-over. So if you start drinking at lunch time and feel rotten the next day, that’s 36 hours totally gone.
- Spending too much time at work. Is it really worth spending all of that extra time at work for that small pay rise or those few words of acknowledgement?
- Commuting. Unfortunately this is a necessity of modern life, but how could this time be used in a more productive manner?
- Shopping. Whether it’s done online or in person; whether it’s food, clothes, or something else; it is all time spent purchasing products, buying more stuff, and let’s be honest a lot of it is superfluous. How many pairs of shoes can you wear in any given moment? If you have 2 feet then it’s 2 shoes. How much food are you really going to eat in the next week and how much of it will go rotten before you eat it? Not buying stuff means that you don’t accumulate all of the stuff and you actually get to save money. Instead of thinking of it as not spending money, think of it as a special deal with 100% money off super saving deluxe give-away.