Buddha‘s last words as remembered by Ananda

Everything arises in conditions, Ananda, and those conditions are not separate from us. We need to embrace suffering, Ananda, embrace difficulty. We need to let go of grasping. We need to stop and experience the cessation of craving. And we need to act. We have to do something. The vibrancy of our life is not passive, it‘s active. We can be mindful of the body as just a body, soft and vulnerable, strong and vigilant, and we can be mindful of breathing as breathing, generous and impersonal. The more intimate we become with our body, the less personal it gets. We begin with our own perception: How are we perceiving the world?

Conditioned things break down, Ananda, treat the path with care. Everything is unreliable, breaking down, so take care of it. Take care of the path.

And what is the path?

It‘s not separate from us. It‘s not separate from our life. Take really good care of your life, because it‘s so fragile. Human beings are so fragile.

From a Dharma talk by Michael Stone (1974-2017)

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