As long as one is alive, one will be possessive. People often say, "This person is ‘my’ so and so, this house belongs to ‘me’, all these fields, properties, money, titles, etc. are all ‘mine’.”
However, after a person passes away, is he still able to own those houses, properties, money, and even his own body?
In fact, even his own physical body is not his anymore! Because no one will keep a dead body at home and continue to love it. In fact, the body will soon be buried or cremated. Therefore, (after we die,) our "body" no longer belongs to us, and our friends and family are no longer ours, too!
Are we able to take the thing that we love the most in the world with us at the end of our life? And will the person I love the most be able to keep me alive? Not only can nobody “retain” our physical body for us, but we will also be shocked to see how the people and things that we so dearly love disappear from us. So, who is the real "me"?
If you can realise that the “personal self” does not really exist in life and there is only the “greater self”, you will be able to contribute more of your life and time, and work for the common good of living beings on Earth.
Excerpted from “Huan Xi Zi Zai”《欢喜自在》
Translated by the Tzu Chi Singapore translation team