Monday, September 23, 2002

Be Semi-Retired Now!

When one is retired, does one really have nothing truly wothwhile to do? Or is there something that one should seriously do, especially if one hasn't began yet? I'm taking about spiritual cultivation. Some retirees cannot seem to stand the idea of not working, and rush back to work though they can "enjoy" their golden sunset years. I think this is sad. It seems like a case of not being able or willing to face oneself spiritually nakedly. It seems like a refusal or failing to realise that there is a higher purpose in life other than to keep busy and feel purposeful in a mundane way.

How will you spend your last years? Aha! Trick question. We do not know when our last years are due to the unpredictability of life. So what should we do? Live in a semi-retired mode now! By retirement here, I take it to mean renunciation from greed, hatred and ignorance and being caught up in busy worldly matters, so as to be able to find time for in-depth spiritual cultivation. But how can we sever ourselves from worldly matters now when we have to work and survive? We can't- unless we are doing Dharma work or are studying in a Buddhist institute. That is why I used the term "semi-retired mode." Once again, not in the conventional sense. Semi-retired in the sense that we are ready to let everything go instantly when we have to! Death can strike any time! Being in this mode while not forsaking our full worldly responsibilities to work, family and all, a certain freedom is already achieved now! reply

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