The Five Remembrances by the Buddha

Translated by Thích Nhất Hạnh

Thích Nhất Hạnh

Worth (re)reading from time to time, including at the end of another Lunar Year. (Follow this link for a PDF version of The Five Remembrances. or click on Thích Nhất Hạnh’s photo to the left. As he notes, When you deny the reality of life, you appreciate it less. Meditate on the Buddha’s Five Remembrances and rediscover the magic of life just as it is.) The first eight sentences are reminders of reality, of the inevitable, of nature’s course. We have no choice but to ponder and accept. They will happen anyway.

The last three are the moral fabric of your life, a life well-lived (or not), and your legacy.

I am of the nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill-health.
There is no way to escape having ill-health.
I am of the nature to die.
There is no way to escape death.
All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to
change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.

Shalom (שלום), MAA