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 Impermanence Haunts Life’s Brief Span

By Master Jueyue


       We tend to think that life is long and that we can always meet one another,enjoying heart-to-heart talks about life, and sharing dreams about the future.

       Seeing someone seems a casual arrangement, given the convenience of global communication. Staying in touch and getting together is a walk in the park. Parting seems painless, and the coming and going of anyone amid life’s hustle and bustle deserves little fuss. Just thinking of each other is enough.

       We tend to think that life is mundane, and the thought of pursuing truth, perfect enlightenment and liberation from samsara are not for us.

       It seems very simple to practice the Buddha Dharma - it’s just a matter of leading an upright life. Cultivating the Six Perfections, the myriad virtuous deeds, and understanding the meaning of true merits are of no immediate concern.   

       Reciting the name of Amitabha seems so easy - it can be practiced anytime, anywhere. What’s the harm in putting it off until the last moment in life?

       Actually, life is short - transient as the passing clouds. Without warning, we can be forever separated from loved ones.

       In fact, to see someone is not simple; life changes in the blink of an eye. Every meeting may be the last, and those who once were close become strangers in another life.

       Life’s true nature is impermanence - we’re trapped in the cycle of life and death. At the end of a single breath, we are swept into the cycle of samsara, wandering through the three domains.

       Attaining Buddhahood can indeed be accomplished swiftly. By aspiring for rebirth in the Pure Land, and with single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name, enlightenment is within reach.

       It is rare to be born human and even more so to encounter the Buddha Dharma. Yet the profound challenge is in encountering the Dharma path of Amitabha-recitation, and whole-heartedly embracing it. 

       In life, every encounter is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence - a result of karmic connection;

       To encounter the Buddha is to have one’s virtuous roots from past lives come to fruition, nurtured by the compassion and care of all Buddhas.

       To come across Amitabha Buddha is the culmination of Amitabha’s ten eons of waiting.

       And this very meeting leads us to attain Buddhahood.


(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team;
edited by Householder Fojin)





  • Recitation of Amitabha’s name, relying on his Fundamental Vow (the 18th)
  • Rebirth of ordinary beings in the Pure Land’s Realm of Rewards
  • Rebirth assured in the present lifetime
  • Non-retrogression achieved in this lifetime

Amitabha Buddhas

The 18th Vow of Amitabha Buddha

If, when I achieve Buddhahood, sentient beings of the ten directions who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, wish to be reborn in my land and recite my name, even ten times, should fail to be born there, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. Excepted are those who commit the five gravest transgressions or slander the correct Dharma.

Guiding Principles

Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings