Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Buddha's Last Piece of Advice

The Buddha, in his lifetime, shared many eye-opening, heartwarming insights. He taught the world non-violence and moderation, a commitment to the truth, and the power of meditation. So, when faced with his final hour, what words could the Buddha impart on those around him? What could he say that might encompass his teachings and offer solace to the students that might miss him. Turns out, his last words were incredibly simple yet deftly comprehensive. Before his passing, the Buddha simply advised,

"Do your best,"

. . . which I find very reassuring. Truly, it's all that can be asked of us, ever. And, if we do put forth our best effort in any given moment (whatever level of effort might be available to us in that moment), then we can always rest easy. Some days, our best is filled with energy, enthusiasm, and an unmovable focus on our admirable goals; other times, it's mustering up the courage to leave the house in the morning. One is not better than the other- they just are. The Buddha teaches us that what's important is whether we can greet the moment we've been given with a willingness to do our best.

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