Every body gets Old.

Via on Jun 11, 2010

The Buddha: on aging gracefully.

“At death, a person abandons what he construes as mine.~ The Buddha.


On one occasion, late in his life, the Buddha sat warming his back in the western sun. Then Ananda [a senior student] went to the him and massaged his limbs with his hand and said,

“It is amazing, lord. It is astounding, how the Blessed One’s complexion is no longer so clear and bright; his limbs are flabby and wrinkled; his back, bent forward; there’s a discernible change in his faculties—the faculty of the eye, the faculty of the ear, the faculty of the nose, the faculty of the tongue, the faculty of the body.”

“That is the way it is, Ananda. When young, one is subject to aging; when healthy, subject to illness; when alive, subject to death..”

With the arising of birth there is the arising of aging and death.


The householder Nakulapita went to the Blessed One and said,

“Bhagavan, I am a feeble old man, aged, advanced in years, having come to the last stage of life. I am afflicted in body and ailing with every moment. And it is only rarely that I get to see the Bhagavan and the monks who nourish the heart. May the Bhagavan teach me, may the Bhagavan instruct me, for my long-term benefit and happiness.”

“So it is, householder. The body is afflicted, weak, and encumbered. So you should train yourself: ‘Even though I may be afflicted in body, my mind will be unafflicted.’ That is how you should train yourself.”

Sariputta added: “And how is one afflicted in body but unafflicted in mind? A well-instructed disciple has regard for noble ones and is well-versed and disciplined in their Dharma [truth]; has regard for men of integrity and is well-versed and disciplined in their Dharma [truth]—his form changes and alters, but he does not fall into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair over its change and alteration.”


On one occasion, two men went to Buddha and said:

“Master Gotama, we are brahmans—feeble old men, aged, advanced in years, having come to the last stage of life, 120 years old. Teach us, Master Gautama. Instruct us, Master Gautama, for our long-term benefit and happiness.”

The Buddha replied:

“This world is swept away by aging, by illness, by death.
For one swept on by aging, no shelters exist.
Keeping sight of this danger in death,

do meritorious deeds that bring bliss.
Make merit while alive.
When the world is on fire with aging and death, one should salvage [future wealth] by giving.”


“What, if well-established, serves one well until old age?
What is a precious treasure for man?
What is difficult for thieves to take away?”

Buddha’s answer:
“Moral conduct serves one well till old age.
Sradda [1] if well-established, serves one well.
Knowledge is a precious treasure for man.
The merit of good actions is difficult for thieves to take away.”
–   Jara Sutta

[1] Sradda (Sanskrit) or saddha (Pali), is confidence resting on inner knowledge. What is meant is hardly blind faith, but deep conviction and even better: confidence based on one’s activated knowledge. It is established by experience alone.

How to Age Gracefully (youtube.com)


About Alex Myles

Alex Myles is qualified as a Yoga teacher, Reiki Master, Teacher of Tibetan Meditation, Dragon Magic and a Spiritual coach to name just a few. Alex has no intention to teach others on a formal basis for many years to come, instead, she is collecting qualifications along with life’s lessons. One day, when the time is right, Alex will set up a quaint studio, in a quirky crooked building where she will breathe and appreciate the slowness of those days as life is just way too busy right now! Reading and writing has always been one of Alex’s passions. Alex likes to consider herself as a free spirit rather than a commitment-phobe. Trying to live as aligned to a Buddhist lifestyle as is possible in this day and age, she just does not believe in "owning" anything or anyone. Based on the theory that we ‘cannot lose someone that was not ours to lose’ she flails through life finding joy and magic in the most unexpected places. Mother to a 21 year old daughter and three adorable pups, she appreciates that some of the best moments in life are the 6am forest walks watching the dogs run, play and interact with one another and with nature. Connect with her on Facebook and check out her blog, Love and Madness. 


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