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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? As the natural working of death-proximate karma, or rather, rebirth-proximate karma, its very nature will determine where you be 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 could 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, as dependent 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 possible great pain’s distraction due to 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 is it 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. Remembering that one can only have one thought in the last thought moment, it’s either ‘this’ or ‘that’, and dying is unrehearsable in this life.

What is the best subject to be mindful of then? ‘It’ is the best because this subject is most meritorious, connecting to whom there is powerful protective power of blessings, that uplift 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) – to be wholeheartedly mindful of with deep Faith and sincere Aspiration to reach his Pure Land. Why leave your last thought to ‘random chance’, or what could well be 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:
念佛如何能免堕地狱而得生净土?
How Can Niànfó Prevent The Worst Rebirth To Attain The Best?
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2016/03/how-can-nianfo-prevent-the-worst-rebirth-to-attain-the-best

Why Your Last Thought Matters So Much
https://purelanders.com/2013/10/28/why-your-last-thought-matters-so-much

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