Fear not that thoughts arise,
but only that one wakes up from them too late!
Remember to cherish everything;
do not regret an opportunity only after losing it.
There is plenty of philosophy about life, yet without mindfulness of the present moment in real life, it is very unlikely that one can understand the truth. This is like someone who understands some principle, yet finds it hard to practice in daily life. Does it help to seek repentance after one has seen the law of causes and effects at work?
One’s life rarely goes beyond 100 years. Some people devote all their lives to rendering selfless service to the world and brightening others’ lives with loving-kindness. In contrast, I have been drifting aimlessly in my life and eventually wound up in jail.
Birth, aging, sickness, and death are processes of life that everyone has to go through. When facing death, no matter how a person may try to protest, run away, or deny the reality, he won’t be able to change the course of his life.
As a Buddhist saying goes: “Fear not that thoughts arise, but only that one wakes up from them too late!” Buddhism helps believers develop right attitudes in life. Even if one may not be a Buddhist, one should study and practice it for one’s own good so that life is not wasted.
I often give myself a little bit of time everyday to meditate and regulate my mind, thereby transforming worry and stress into peace and clarity. After a period of practicing regular meditation in the morning and evening, I became worry-free and stress-free. Since I became a Buddhist, Amitahba Buddha has never let me down and is always in my heart. How can I not cherish this good opportunity? I am afraid once the opportunity has passed, causes and conditions will be different. Realizing how fleeting life is, I have learned to cherish it.
Sitting in meditation is a practice of the mind. When I first explored the practice of Chan meditation, I felt as if I were drifting in a vast boundless ocean. I dared not wish for any sudden awakening to true emptiness, but just constantly urged myself onward saying: truly and honestly practice meditation. As a meditator, my duty is to remain unmoving in stillness and to contemplate in movement.
I am grateful to the Dharma Masters from DRBA and feel so fortunate to have participated in the Three Refuges Ceremony and become a Buddhist disciple in the Hua-Lien Prison. I thank all my good advisors who helped me to truly let everything go and gain peace of mind through Sutra recitation.
I am a convict on death row. I have no tomorrow and will soon be gone from this world. Ever since the day I got involved in crime, I have been treading a path infested with violence and treachery. It is all because of my deviant thoughts in the beginning that I ended up a murderer sentenced to death after the ordeal of being in court. What deep regrets I have: “How could I have been so stupid?” I have gone without sleep and been full of anguish. I often woke up in the middle of the night, pitying myself and bitterly bemoaning my fate. I felt as if the ceiling was about to drop and I saw countless black and white ghosts of impermanence appearing in front of me. After being counseled by Dharma Masters and lay people and undergoing some drastic struggles in my mind, I found the way out through faith in Buddhism and thus entered the Dharma to cultivate myself. I vowed to let go of everything and devote myself to cultivation with the wish that life after life I will follow the Buddha’s teaching to cultivate, and will always help and protect the Triple Jewel.
It was all because of Amitabha Buddha’s kindness so I have been able to change. Only Amitabha Buddha knows the depth of my gratitude. I could never finish expressing my gratitude to Amitahba Buddha: for his kindness in leading me out of this dark, treacherous road, and helping me find a safe and secure road. Transformed through his kindness and compassion, I have had a new rebirth and gone full-speed onto the right track of life. Even though my life has been full of evil and mistakes, he held my two hands and forgave all of my offense karma committed out of ignorance. Namo Amitahba!