22. Intense Awareness of Impermanence
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 22
Take refuge and arouse bodhichitta.
Meditate with utter conviction that wherever you go, you may die there. For instance, when you leave Larung Gar during holiday breaks, say to yourself: “Maybe I will die on the road or in the Han area.”
Or if you stay at a hotel or someone’s house, ask yourself: “Will I die here?” When climbing the stairs, entering a house, think: “I may die right now.” Whatever you are doing—eating, taking a walk, sleeping, or so on—tell yourself: “This may be my last act in this world.”
Therefore, resolve: Above all, I must meditate on death instinctively at all times.
Dedicate all the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.
Eminent masters of old always maintained this kind of vigilance: “I’ll definitely die tomorrow.” “I certainly will be gone next year.” For example, a Dharma master I met the other day said: “For sure I won’t remain in the world next year.” I joked to him: “You said the same thing ten years ago. This is but a sign of having meditated on impermanence. Definitely, you’ll still be around next year.”
Indeed, this is the way to meditate on impermanence, which serves as a powerful impetus for your Dharma practice. Otherwise you’ll slip into the league of worldly beings who busily plan grand enterprises for the next ten or twenty years. Occupying themselves deeply with trivial affairs, they forever put off Dharma practice, making any success in it impossible.
Therefore, constantly recall impermanence; regard everything you do as your final act.
This concludes the meditation instructions on impermanence. Practice accordingly in all circumstances.