Tashi Nyima: Wasted Lives

Vox Populi

There is a very instructive story of a great philosopher who boarded a small boat to cross a river. The philosopher asked the boatman: “Do you know the doctrine of the four essential components of positive, negative, neutral, throwing, and completing karma?” The boatman answered “No”, and the philosopher said: “Then, I am afraid that you have wasted one third of your life.”

The philosopher then asked: “Do you know the doctrine of the twelve links of dependent origination?” The boatman answered that he did not, to which the philosopher replied: “Then, I am afraid that you have wasted two thirds of your life.”

As the philosopher was about to ask the boatman if he understood the doctrine of intrinsic emptiness, the weather turned very foul, and the boat started to fill with water. The boatman asked the philosopher: “Do you know how to swim?” The philosopher replied that he…

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