Don't Wait Until You're Old to Cultivate the Way

When we are in this world, we should hurry and cultivate. Don't wait around. If you don't cultivate when young, and you wait until your hair turns gray to cultivate, it will be too late. The saying goes,

Don't wait until you're old to cultivate the Way
The lonely graves are full of young people.

Young people will also die soon. Regardless of whether you are young or old, when the time comes, the ghosts of impermanence will drag you off to see King Yama. They won't show you any courtesy at all. It is said,

Age makes no difference in the realm of the living,
For people constantly meet in the realm of the dead.
Don't wait until you're old to cultivate

Don't wait until you're old to cultivate.

Each of you should pay attention! Time is precious. An inch of time is an inch of life, so don't casually let the time pass in vain. When the three disasters are imminent, will we be able to survive? While we are still young, we must cultivate zealously. Don't wait until tomorrow to cultivate. The best way is to immediately start cultivating today.

Talks on the Dharma, Vol. I, p.131