19. The Impermanence of Contemporary Beings
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 19
Take refuge and arouse bodhichitta.
Observe that very few humans, animals, and other beings who lived in this world one hundred years ago have survived until today. Likewise, very few of the beings living here today will remain a hundred years from now.
Among the few hundred people sitting here today, how many will be living in one hundred years? To say nothing of one hundred years, in merely twenty years a good portion will be gone. Twenty years ago, some over sixty monks from my monastery (Duomang Monastery) came to Larung to attend a Dharma assembly; of them only twelve remain by my recent count. That is, in a short period of twenty years, seventy to eighty percent of them have passed away. Hence impermanence needs not to wait for a few hundred years to manifest; it comes rather swiftly.
All sentient beings in the future are also so destined. I myself certainly am not above this law. Take a look at our families. The heads of households used to be the peers of our fathers, which were then replaced by the next generation, whose time, in turn, will also run out.
Today at my birthplace, many of my old neighbors, acquaintances, friends, relatives, dogs, livestock, rivals, and so on are no longer living. Having investigated these points one by one, it will become obvious that no one has much time left in the world. Therefore, resolve: The only task worthy of my pursuit is the holy Dharma.
Dedicate all the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.