A Moment, A Lifetime
Between Ignorance and Enlightenment III 迷悟之间 (3)
In the essay from which the title of this book was taken, Venerable Master Hsing Yun considers the importance of pausing a moment to reflect. Buddhists are taught that, before they act, they should consider the consequences of their actions. That reflection takes just a moment, but the consequences of our actions can last a lifetime.
Hard work, he suggests, is only for a moment; but the results are for a lifetime. An unintentional word can bring serious long term consequences; but a well-spoken word can change a life for the better. In this sense, then, a moment – which we usually think of as a short amount of time – contains within it a lifetime of consequence. As a result, Venerable Master reminds us that “we must pay careful attention to the effect of a moment in anything we do.”
The essays in the book cover a wide variety of subjects, including further reflections on the effect we have on others; the relationship between the past, present, and future; and the importance of right mindfulness in living a successful life. Despite this seeming diversity, this common thread runs throughout the book: now, in this very moment, we have the power to make decisions with favourable and enduring effects.