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19 April 2004


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You -- well, Mark Epstein, but in practical terms you -- have just taken the "live every day as if it were your last" cliche and made it meaningful again.


Of course.


Thanks, Whiskey, for the quote.


anytime, SB.

Laura Nee

I just loved this entry. Thank you!


You are welcome!


I have been pondering the glass is already broken deeply since I first read it in a mediation book. I found this site today in my search for a perfect symbol of a broken glass which I intend to tattoo on my ankle as a permanent reminder. It goes without saying that this means a great deal to me.




Wow, I had never heard this quote until now. For me, it is absolutely more effective to learn a lesson when put into beautiful words than it is to just here someone say, "expect and accept it". This has really helped. :)


Hmmm. This five-year-old post must have just been linked somewhere?

I'm glad to be reminded of it.


Linked from here:


Brad Rowden

Linked via Zen Habits blog.


Thanks, Levi & Brad -- actually found that after I posted.

I'm hoping some of you folks will find more here that you like.

Louis Dizon

A very valuable concept. Treat every single day of your life as if it is the last and you'll enjoy every single bit of it.


It makes me feel sad for the glass... :(


The same must be applied to the death experience, losing a loved one, every moment was precious.


I, too, just linked through from the zen habits post. This quote reminds me of what Eckhart says (quoting Buddhist teaching, I believe): "All forms are unstable."


This could be good for small things, whether your friend is late again for example, but how can one keep this in mind for important things, like the health of a loved one? If I keep saying in my head "someday this person might get cancer", for example, then how does that make me calm and peaceful? It would be just pessimistic and depressing, unable to enjoy that person fully. What do you think about this?

Brice Stacey

To Dru: Your friend or loved one is no different from the glass. Pleasurable, but finite. I think the moral is to accept it.


Good reminder. I use this often, but good reminder.

The Economy is already broken.

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Okay I tried to find this quotation to show my friend earlier, and all of the sites I found relating to the glass already being broken was insufficient to me. THIS is what you uys want :)

Once someone asked a well-known Thai meditation master, "In this world where everything changes, where nothing remains the same, where loss and grief are inherent in our very coming into existence, how can there be any happiness? How can we find security when we see that we can't count on anything being the way we want it to be?" The teacher, looking compassionately at this fellow, held up a drinking glass which had been given to him earlier in the morning and said, "You see this goblit? For me, this glass is already broken. I enjoy it, I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on a shelf and the wind knocks it over or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, 'Of course.' But when I understand that this glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious. Every moment is just as it is and nothing need be otherwise."

When we recognize that, just as that glass, our body is already broken, that indeed we are already dead, then life becomes precious and we open to it just as it is, in the moment it is occurring. When we understand that all our loved ones are already dead--our children, our mates, our friends--how precious they become. How little fear can interpose, how little doubt can estrange us. When you live your life as though you're already dead, life takes on new meaning. Each moment becomes a whole lifetime, a universe unto itself.

When we realize we are already dead, our priorities change, our heart opens, our mind begins to clear of the fog of old holdings and pretendings. We watch all life in transit and what matters becomes instantly apparent: The transmission of love, the letting go of obstacles to understading, the relinquishment of grasping, of our hiding from ourselves. Seeing the mercilessness of our self-strangulation, we begin to come gently into the light we share with all beings. Taking each teaching, each loss, each gain, each fear, each joy as it arises and experiencing it fully, life becomes workable. We are no longer "a victim of life." And then every experience, even the loss of our dearest one, becomes another opportunity for awakening.

If our only spiritual practice were to live as though we were already dead, relating to all we meet, to all we do, as though it were our final moments in the world, what time would there be for old games or falsehoods or posturing? If we lived our life as though we were already dead, as though our children were already dead, how much time would there be for self-protection and the re-creation of ancient mirages? Only love would be appropriate, only the truth.

-Stephen Levine, from 'Who Dies?'


Stopped reading about a third of the way through :)

Of course.


Doesnt it seems to be a negative thought ?? which gives no pains afterwards?? I know we also look for a calm and peaceful life but still cant der be a better thought dan this.

Nothing against NEbody.

Just a Thought on the Thought.


.........absolutely fantastic!!! If we could keep the Stephen Levine thoughts always in our mind, I feel we would liberate ourelves from the shackles of possession and negative thought, that stop us living a true, meaningful and blissful life!!

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