When a person is occupied only with collecting the flowers of endless pleasures,
death will carry them away as a flood carries away a sleeping village.

Dhammapada Vs 47

Tomorrow is just an idea..

At one time a man approached the Buddha whist he was on his alms round in a small town.
Are you Gotoma the Buddha?”
Yes,” the Buddha answered.
Good,” the man continued, “I would like you to give me a teaching.”
The Buddha replied, “please come back in an hour after I have finished my alms round.”
An hour,” exclaimed the man, “who knows what can happen in an hour!
Perhaps I will be dead, perhaps you will be dead, but either way, I will not receive your teaching, so please give me a teaching now.”
The Buddha was so impressed by this sense of urgency for Dhamma that he left his alms round and gave a teaching to the man.

Dhamma urgency is something so important and yet, something so overlooked in our ordinary life.
We think death and disease will not happen to us, and so we have time to meander in the meadow, smelling the flowers and putting everything off until a later date. A time when everything is more convenient and not too disruptive to our plans. 
However, life is so uncertain that if we do not prioritize our practice, if we do not prioritize time spent with the teacher, we truly miss the moment.
Our journey to Awakening is the most important thing in life once we understand the impermanent nature of life itself. We have to realize that once we take human birth, whatever can happen to a human, any human, can happen to us. This is the unstable and insecure world we live in. 
So, where can we find peace and stability? Only in Dhamma.
All our excuses of the monastery being too far, and travel is too expensive, come to nothing as we delay and delay and delay, all the time making reasonable and rational excuses to sit at home and doze in the superficial haze of mind.
If we don’t awaken in this very lifetime, when will we do it? And if we don’t make our own effort for complete liberation, who can do it for us?
For myself, in my own training, all those years ago, I had to work at three jobs and sell many things, including my beloved Beatles and Beethoven collections to afford the fare for the boat, two trains and a bus, to be with my teacher and leave a donation at the monastery. Should you ask, was it worth it, I can only answer with a resounding yes!
I loved this man, and he was without doubt, the greatest Dhamma gift in my life. I felt I could have stayed with him forever, but in one moment he was no longer there. I received a ‘phone call informing me that Bhante was dead!
No illness, no long drawn-out procedure allowing me to get used to the idea that soon he would be gone, just a simple phone call.
He woke up and died. It was as simple as that.
It was exactly the same story with my father. One moment here, the next gone. No warning, no preparation. My only consolation is that they both knew how deeply I loved and respected them.
And now, people write to tell me they want so sit a retreat with me, but they are not sure when?
I am already seventy-two years old, and so who can say how much longer this aging body can find the energy to travel and share Dhamma on our retreats. This is my greatest pleasure, to honour the instruction of my teacher to put Dhamma in the world, so all beings may benefit, but for how much longer?
Tomorrow, next retreat, next year, next lifetime, are just ideas in the head.
There is no tomorrow, only now, and if we don’t commit to deep practice now we miss the wonderful opportunity that this life affords.
I write these strong words to encourage all true students of Dhamma to recognize the value of our training, and to cross any river, climb any mountain, to be free. Not to miss the moment.
Life is so precious, that not to use it in the pursuit of this beautiful Dhamma is to waste the opportunity that only human beings have.
As I remind people who come to sit on retreat, ‘don’t leave here wishing you had done more.’

May all beings be happy.



Summer retreat: 9 days
July 2024: 1st to 10th.
Details: PureDahmma team

Autumn retreat
October 2024: 10th to 13th.
Details: PureDahmma team



Someone asked, “Master, have you been to hell?”
He replied, “I was the first one there.”
How could a great Master have arrived from hell?”
How could I show you Dhamma if I had not been there?”


Our suffering only arises when we oppose the truth.
To know the truth, we have to know this mind.
From Not This, by Michael Kewley.


Follow Michael on facebook
Next Pure Dhamma Newsletter, July 2024
To unsubscribe from the newsletter,
please send an e-mail to dhammateacher