Have You Chosen Your Last Thought Yet?

The fundamental practice NOW
is to take good care of

this thought in this moment,
from thought to thought,
from moment to moment.

— Shilashanti

What will your last thought be, right before your coming rebirth? With the natural workings of death-proximate karma, or rather, rebirth-proximate karma, the very nature of that thought will determine where you are reborn accordingly, for better or worse. Let us analyse the only four kinds of thought possible — the neutral, positive, negative and pure.

A neutral thought might be based on that little left of your breathing, if you were mindful of it, which might or might not give rise to positive qualities, such as calmness or clarity, depending on the skill of your practice. With substantial practice, this might lead to a better human or heavenly, yet still samsaric rebirth, if still not liberated.

However, dying and just post-death moments are the most difficult for practising the above, due to distraction from possible great pain of sickness, habitual attachment to the worldly, aversion to death, and deluded confusion of what is happening and coming. These negative thoughts can accordingly lead to rebirth in the lower realms.

For the same reasons, it is challenging for the average practitioner to focus upon a positive quality directly, such as loving-kindness, or to ‘just watch’ whatever is happening without being disturbed. Remember… you can only have one thought in the last thought moment. It is either ‘this’ or ‘that’, and dying is unrehearsable in this life.

What is the best subject to be mindful of then? This subject is the best as ‘it’ is most meritorious, connecting to whom there is powerful protective power of blessings, that uplifts the mind to calmness, clarity and bliss, that surpass that of all heavenly planes, while guiding to the best rebirth possible, where progress towards the complete liberation of Buddhahood is the swiftest.

What is this purity personified? A Buddha himself, who also stands for all Buddhas, due to them being interconnected — Amitābha Buddha (Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛). Why not be wholeheartedly mindful of his name, with deep Faith and sincere Aspiration to reach his Pure Land? Why leave your last thought to ‘random chance’, complacence or over-confidence? Why jeopardise your rebirth? Is that not why you are still trapped here? Why not focus on practising mindfulness of Buddha now?

The fundamental practice LATER
is to take good care of
this thought in this moment,
from thought to thought,
from moment to moment.

— Shilashanti

Related Articles:
How Can Niànfó Prevent The Worst Rebirth To Attain The Best?

Why Your Last Thought Matters So Much

By Juzi

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