Wednesday, May 27, 2009

and each gets one plot of ground

I stand here and watch the people of this world:
all against one and one against all,
angry, arguing, plotting and scheming.
Then one day, suddenly, they die.

And each gets one plot of ground:

four feet wide, six feet long.
If you can scheme your way out of that plot,
I'll set the stone that immortalizes your name.

- Zen Poetry of Han Shan, 8th century, translated by J.P. Seaton

"Death isn't sad. The sad thing is: most people don't live at all."
- Peaceful Warrior

Then Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."

And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

- Khalil Gibran, The Prophet: On Death

Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. - The Quran 3:185

Death is a tax the soul has to pay for having had a name and a form.
- Sufi Master Inayat Khan

Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, one day was illustrating the theory of suffering (like Buddha, who taught the same theme after enlightenment about eleven hundred years before the Prophet). The Prophet drew up a square and in the middle of it he drew a line, the end of which jutted out beyond the square. Further across the middle line, he drew a number of smaller lines. Then he said, "The figure represents man and the encircling square is the death which is encompassing him. The middle line represents his desires and the smaller lines are vicissitudes of life. If one of those misses him, another distresses him, and if that one misses him, he falls victim to another.''

- From the collection of al-Bukhari, reported by Ibn Masud

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Race to good actions as fast as you can. What are you waiting for except delayed poverty, oppressive wealth, debilitating illness, dottering senility, a swift death or the anti-Christ? Or are you waiting for an unseen evil, or the Last Hour? The Last Hour will be most bitter and terrible."

- From the collection of at-Tirmidhi, reported by Abu Hurayra

"Remember death very often. Never forget." - Saying of Prophet

# Reference:
. The Zen Poetry is quoted from The Poetry of Zen, Translated and edited by Sam Hamill and J.P Seaton. Shambhala, 2007. Read a Review via Dragocave Blog
. Sayings of Hazrat Inayat Khan
. On remembering death
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