Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pain is emptiness, Emptiness is pain

When doctors have given up on you, what do you do with the physical pain that ravages your already feeble body? What else is there to do but surrender to pain and death? All around you watches helplessly, as you wring in pain or edge towards your final breath. Your body is too weak to recite any mantras. Your mind obscured by the physical pain and mental uncertainties. Practicing phowa at such times is almost impossible. Your only hope and the only thing you can do with your feeble mind at such moments is to think of Amitabha. Direct all thoughts, even though weak, to Amitabha and long with all your heart to be reborn there. Even though the image may not be clear, and it will certainly fade as your vision fades and your senses deteriorates, any small recollection of Amitabha helps at such dying moments. This is your only hope. And mine!

No matter what's my practice, I will always have faith in Amitabha. Amitabha is always with me. I will always have a lotus flower at Sukhavati. And that's my ultimate home. My resting place. A place where I recharge before I plunge back to samsara to continue this unending task of liberating my brothers and sisters. Indeed by doing so, I may lose my way again but it's okay for I know Amitabha will always remember me and lead me back to my home. And that continues on and on. Endlessly.

Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form. Pain is emptiness. Emptiness is pain. Tadyatha Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha. Namo OmituoFwo!

After reciting the above (extracted from the Heart Sutra and using the word "pain"), the pain in my body is still there (yes, pain is emptiness, but emptiness is also pain) but I certainly feel more confident to deal with it. And you can also try just "Pain is emptiness" and dropping the other part "emptiness is pain". And never forget to add the Heart Sutra mantra. So, try this if you are trying to deal with physical pain. It may help somewhat.

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