Paying Attention by Dogo Barry Graham


Some people will do anything to escape the reality of their lives. With some, it’s drugs. With others, it’s identity, whether they identify with a belief or an activity or a relationship. I see the latter a lot – frightened egos trying to turn a relationship into a fortress.

Look at the person you love most, and remember: they are going to die. So are you. No matter how happy you are together, how much you love each other – and how much you identify with the relationship – it is going to end. What then?

Let me respectfully remind you:
Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes and opportunity is lost.
Awaken! Awaken! Take heed;
Do not squander your life.

About the Author:

Dogo Barry Graham is a Zen Buddhist monk, a social activist and a writer, and the Abbot of The Sitting Frog Zen Sangha.  He has written articles for national magazines, including Harper’s, Flaunt and Parabola and his poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies. He has taught Zen in jails, homeless shelters and community centers, and has witnessed two executions in Florence, Arizona, each time at the invitation of the prisoner, not the state. In Arizona and Tennessee, he has worked to stop police brutality and gang violence. He sees Zen practice and social activism as being inseparable. You can read more at his blog “The Urban Monk” .

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