The Importance of Death in Life 《不知死，焉知生？》
(English translation below)
The first Chinese language Dharma talk in Kechara Forest Retreat – “The Importance of Death in Life” – concluded at 5pm on November 14, 2015. Despite the landslide incident on the Karak Highway between Kuala Lumpur and Bentong, the talk by Pastor Lanse Chiah attracted 69 participants, many of whom were from Kuala Lumpur. They did not hesitate to travel far and wide in order to receive the Dharma; their spirit and dedication is very commendable.
In the talk, Pastor Lanse shared her past experiences of being on duty in the hospital, of studying medicine and of how dealing with matters of life and death and the process of rescuing others inspired her. At the same time, she had felt a deep sense of helplessness because despite being a doctor equipped with the latest medical technology, she could not help anyone escape the eventuality of death when their time was up.
Later on, when she met her Guru – His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche and the Buddhadharma, she began to understand that death does not mean the end of a life, because before one can transcend the cycle of death and rebirth, one must first experience countless “rebirths”. In her years of following H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, Rinpoche has taught her skilfully to look at death from the point of view of Dharma – that death should spur us to live a more vigorous and spiritual lifestyle, letting go of unnecessary burdens and deep-rooted bad habits, and facing the remorse and fear that are buried deep in our hearts, because only then can we lead a good life and prepare for our future lives.
As the title of the talk “The Importance of Death in Life” implies, it is important for us to understand death and its importance while we are still alive. Pastor Lanse spoke about what death is, the dissolution of each of the four elements, the gross and subtle minds at the moment of dying/death, as well as the bardo (the intermediate state). Most important of all is to learn how to overcome the fear of death in our daily lives and to cherish our present life more. Death Meditation is a practice that is highly encouraged in Buddhism. When we meditate on death, we will realise that although death may seem far away, it could also be very close. Whatever we could not let go of, whatever we found difficult to accept, we will have to face these at the moment of death. So, if we practise doing this again and again, we will come to realise what is truly important in life, and because of this, we will learn how to live…
Written by Abby
If you missed last week’s talk, below is a video specially uploaded by Kechara InMotion. If you would like to revisit the talk, this video is also for you.
参与者的感想 – Feedback from Participants
(A sincere and touching sharing!)
~ Eannee Tan
(This is touching and sincere. Thank you Pastor Lanse for the sharing. There are a couple of deep points about life, about human relationship from your talk that kept me pondering and searching within. I really enjoyed your talk.)
~ Stella Cheang
(Back from the talk, Pastor Lanse’s words still linger in my mind: “At that time I played the role of a doctor, and didn’t play the role of a daughter”… This is a very good reminder that can help us to contemplate—we try to keep a distance from death or things that we fear, when it became unavoidable, we may go with another angle or run to another location in order for us to better deal with the situation. In fact, we still do not face the issue/object, and to a large extent, it is still a way to escape.)
~ Kok Wah Ying
(A very rare occasion indeed for Pastor Lanse to share with us about her spiritual journey so vividly. This talk has prompted me to rethink what death means to me. Similar to Pastor Lanse, I too thought that I was not afraid of death, but after one experiences certain things (perhaps it is also because one is growing old), I realise that I am actually afraid of death, especially when our loved ones passed away, we choose not to face the truth. Pastor Lanse said that “As long as you understand death, you will not be afraid and will be more zealous in preparing for death. When death comes, how will we face death?” Death is the end of this physical body, however for our mind, it is the beginning of another journey. Thank you to our Guru – H.E. Tsem Rinpoche for founding the platform of Kechara and also the system of Pastors, so that we have the opportunity to listen to the Dharma. Thank you fellow Pastors who work hard to uphold the teachings of our Guru, providing your services to the public. Much gratitude.)
~ Phoebe Yong
当天讲座的照片 – Pictures from the Dharma talk
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