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Quote for the Day

From What Would Buddha Do? 101 Answers to Life's Daily Dilemmas by Franz Metcalf. First the specific quote:

The real possession is life itself, and even that is only on loan.
Now the context:
What would Buddha do about material possessions?
See them floundering after their cherished possessions, like fish flopping in a river starved of water.

Sutta Nipata 777

Buddha compares us to these tragic fish, gasping in the brutal air, frantically looking for heaven-knows-what. Are we searching for deeper water? Are we struggling to snatch the last shred of food? Most pitiful of all, are we aggressively defending some useless possession in the very face of death?

We are some spectacle, I no less than the rest of us! I've told you about my computer -- wait until you hear about my house and car. Meanwhile I age, I slowly die, but I continue to vainly thrash around. We have got to remember, the real possession is life itself, and even that is only on loan. Buddha doesn't say we cannot enjoy the beautiful things we are lucky enough to have. He does say we should not let them distract us from our real job: awakening to our life and death.


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