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37 practices: verse 4

4. To let go of attachment to this lifetime

Old friends I’ve known as long as I remember, / One day we’ll have to go our separate ways.

Material possessions I’ve worked hard for / Will be enjoyed by someone else one day.

This consciousness, a guest, will leave my body, / The guest house where for all my life it’s stayed.

To let go of attachment to this lifetime: / This is the way a bodhisattva trains.

verse 4 chanted 3x

verses 1-4 chanted 1x

Alternate second line, offered by Kathi Rogers:

“Material possessions I’ve worked hard for / Will end up in the dumpster anyway.” 🙂

The fourth preparation for the path of awakening is to study, contemplate, and meditate on impermanence. We are all very familiar with the idea of impermanence by now. Truly understood, it is the single most powerful motivator to seek a place of solitude and engage in practice without delay. Why it often doesn’t work that way, according to a Western teacher I studied Tibetan with in the 1980s, is that understanding impermanence intellectually isn’t enough to stop us from continuing to relate to everything in our life as solid and permanent. We still get upset over passing trivialities, and/or waste our entire precious human existence on busyness and distraction.

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