"The life is a brief and fading window of opportunity. None of us knows what will happen next. As I've grown older with my sangha brothers and sisters, I've seen many friends die or experience dramatic changes in their health or mental stability. Right now, even though our lives may seem far from perfect, we have excellent circumstances. We have intelligence, the availability of teachers and teachings, and at least some inclination to study and meditate. But some of us will die before the year is up; and in the next five years, some of us will be too ill or in too much pain to concentrate on a Buddhist text, let alone live by it. Moreover, many of us will become more distracted by worldly pursuits...The point is not to squander this good fortune."