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The Eight Reminders

February 22, 2013

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.

This post was posted in Dharma, Shambhala

3 Responses to The Eight Reminders

  • Carl Carey says:

    These are difficult words to hear yet important words to hold on to because most of us don't want to die but all of will. I do appreciate these words of Milarepa because though they are hard they also are honest. And I feel with honesty comes clarity. Thank you.

    Posted on February 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm

  • roger blom says:

    It's a reminder that in life there is suffering. We can lose sight of it very easy with all our distractions. There are so many pleasures, but we can't take any with us. We must cultivate awareness, stop our self grasping so we may hopefully die easy. This is my reminder to be mindful of the teachings of the Dharma. Milarepa tells like it is.-Blessings!

    Posted on February 26, 2013 at 12:53 am

  • D.P.Lama says:

    Each and every words of Mila are true. We simply deny to understand ourselves because our minds are obscured at the moment.Once we happen to realize what life is, then perhaps we start visualizing Mila`s words.

    Posted on February 26, 2013 at 5:57 am