Daily Wisdom / Tibetan Dharma

The Eight Reminders

Book cover“Castles and crowded cities are the places
Where now you love to stay;
But remember that they will fall in ruins
After you have departed from this earth.

“Pride and vainglory are the lure
Which now you love to follow;
But remember, when you are about to die
They offer you no shelter and no refuge!

“Kinsmen and relatives are the people
With whom now you love to live!
But remember that you must leave them all behind
When from this world you pass away!

“Servants, wealth, and children
Are things that you love to hold;
But remember, at the moment of your death
Your empty hands can take nothing with you!

“Vigor and health are dearest to you now;
But remember that at the moment of your death
Your corpse will be bundled up and borne away!

“Now your organs are clear, your blood and flesh are strong and vigorous;
But remember, at the moment of your death
They will no longer be at your disposal!

“Sweet and delicious foods are things
That now you love to eat;
But remember, at the moment of your death
Your mouth will let the spittle flow!

“When of all this I think, I cannot help
But seek the Buddha’s teachings!
The enjoyments and pleasures of this world,
For me have no attraction.

“I, Milarepa, sing of the Eight Reminders,
At the Guest House of Garakhache of Tsang.
With these clear words I give this helpful warning;
I urge you to observe and practice them!”

From The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, translated by Garma C. C. Chang

Of Interest to Readers
This week we honor the anniversary of the parinirvana of Milarepa.

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