The truth about our lives and relationships.

Daily reflection

Read this before and thought it definitely worth sharing.

The Cracked Mug

~ Ajahn Brahm

The death of a loved one changes our lives forever. Even the deaths of those we don’t know, such as the thousands who die in natural disasters, alters the way we think. Death is a fact of life, and when understood, it teaches us how to care.

Many years ago in Thailand, my teacher, Ajahn Chah, raised his ceramic mug.

“See this!” he told us. “It has a crack in it.”

I looked closely at the mug but could see no crack.

“The crack is invisible now,” Ajahn Chah continued, “but it’s there. One day someone will drop this mug, and the crack will appear and split my mug apart. That is its destiny.

“But if my mug were made out of plastic,” explained my teacher, “then it would have no such destiny and no invisible crack. You could drop it, knock it, or even kick it, and it would not break. You could be heedless because it was unbreakable. But because my mug is fragile, for that reason you must care for it.

“In the same way,” Ajahn Chah began to emphasize, “your body has a crack in it. The crack is invisible right now, but it is there. It is called your future death. One day there will be an accident, a disease, or old age; then the crack will appear and you will die. That is your destiny.

“If your life lasted forever,” Ajahn Chah concluded, “if your life were unbreakable like a plastic mug, then you could be heedless. So it is precisely because our lives are fragile, because it is our destiny to die, that we must care.”

Understanding that relationships are also fragile like a ceramic mug is why we must care for each other. Comprehending that happiness has a crack in it teaches us to never to take joy for granted. Realizing that our lives will one day break apart makes us see that each moment is precious.

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