Preparing the Day
Desire nothing and ready to die. Every morning, sitting in the nirvana—the tip of the west cliff—I recall these words. I am not thinking of committing suicide, albeit easy to do so: just jump over the edge and the big coral-reef below will break my head. Ready to die is different from wanting to die, one symptom of deep depression; depressed people will not able to enjoy the beauty as I do: the horizon between the blue sky and the calm, clear ocean in the distance; the colorful fish swimming in and over the reefs around the cliff; the birds singing on the trees behind; the whistling sea ducks cruising over the water surface in front; and the waves splashing the coral below. I am just preparing the new day through reflection on the past and thought about my present life. This contemplation leads me to the next wise words: ‘do not worry about the future.’
Free from the future anxiety is one of the keys of joyful life. I believe and try to practise it, but am not always successful. With no steady income and no saving for the cost of living in the incoming months, that worry creeps stealthily into my mind. To overcome the worry, I often look at the poor villagers around me and think about the rich owners of the resorts next bays. I know that most of these poor people do not have enough money to buy healthy food even for the next days; I know too that the savings of these resort owners are more than enough for buying quality food for all their grandchildren for years. Laughter and joke, however, heard more often from the poor than the rich, and more likely the poor sleep better than the rich do. This irony has helped me reduce my worry of having no money to buy food.
To be more aware of the creeping anxiety, I should live as if I am going to die tomorrow. This reminder of sudden death strengthens my intention to do good deeds to others as much as I can, and to think about the futility of wanting things that I might not able to use or enjoy. The method, however, might make people do the opposite.
“They will enjoy the pleasure as much as they can,” one of the French tourists who passed by our home last month answered my question of ‘what the people are likely to do when they know they are going to die next day.’ Fortunately, the pleasure facilities—restaurant, spa, movie theater, mall, shop, fancy car, television, cellular phone, internet, etc.—are unavailable in my home; the only pleasure I enjoy is living in nature.