Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy. His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique. Ikkyu happened to break this cup and was greatly disturbed. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him. When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: "Why do people have to die?"
"This is natural," explained the older man. "Everything has to die and has just so long to live."
Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup, added: "It was time for your cup to die."
* It is a fact of nature that all things are impermanent ... they come into 'existence' when there is a set of suitable conditions. There must come a time when it 'will die' or 'break up into its 'make-up' components.
* When one realizes this characteristic of life, one's mind becomes more calm, peaceful, happy and wise. Then one will cope well amidst the ever-changing conditions of the world.
*Realization of the three characteristics of life, viz 'unsatisfactoriness', 'impermanence' and 'non-self' is not an intellectual thing. It is insight gained through vipassana meditation.
Bro. Oh Teik Bin