You know the problem with Impermanence? it’s so damn persistent. That job you love, those favorite shoes, that relationship, the size of the town you live in, your parents, your young children…everything that you love and cherish – even your own life: it all ends. Depressing huh? Well on the other side of that – the job you despise, the traffic jam, the zit on your nose, depression, wars, drought — these things too shall end. Big and Small, Joyous and Aggravating…
This too shall pass. But therein lies the rub — everything passes; not just the stuff you have labeled “craptastic” (or possibly more harsh terms but let’s keep it sort of light) It is the ability to live in that moment and let go that brings us to point of peace.
It’s not some resigned depressed state no quite the opposite is true living knowing that it will end brings a sort of electric connection to the moment. It takes the sting out of discomfort and heightens the joy in beautiful moments.
“Subject to change are all things,
Strive on with diligence.” Buddha
According to the teachings of the Buddha, life is comparable to a river.It moves from cause to cause, effect to effect, one point to another, one state of existence to another. The River of yesterday is not the same as the river of today. The river of this moment is not going to be the same as the river of the next moment. So goes life. It changes continuously, becomes something new from moment to moment.
You are not who you were when you went to bed last night or even who you were when you woke up. We are constantly in a state of birth, creation and death…when we allow those deaths to continually occur we become an empty vessel always ready to be filled.
If we are not empty, we become a block of matter.
We cannot breathe, we cannot think.
To be empty means to be alive, to breathe in and to breathe out.
We cannot be alive if we are not empty.
Emptiness is impermanence, it is change.
We should not complain about impermanence,
because without impermanence, nothing is possible
Thich Nhat Hanh
And this gift of impermanence means we constantly can be re-creating, re-designing and refining our lives. As long as we remember there is no end goal. That this moment in all its glory will pass and it is only in the clinging to it that we suffer.
As we hold on we prevent re-birth from being possible.
I’m not saying it’s easy — heck no it’s one of the hardest things ever…a practice I come back to over and over again. But examine it closely.
When we are in pain the pain is increased when we perceive it as forever and don’t let go of hurts and harm and so much joy is sucked out of our lives by clinging to what has happened.
When we are in moments that could be joyous how much is lost when we worry about losing it?
Accept impermanence in your life and you have the power to let go of darkness and truly live in the light.
And if you are still having trouble wrapping you brain around it there is a reason I have chosen fall to discuss this idea — watch mother nature as she allows things to die — as the leaves fall from the trees — this is not a defeat but rather the preparation for glorious rebirth; year after year through the ages proof that impermanence is permanent, all inclusive and necessary for life.
ON the mat we practice accepting impermanence by noticing how we feel in poses. Do we grumble when we have to move out of the pose that feels soooo good? Do we constantly wish for that difficult pose to end? Over and Over we are given the opportunity to practice — enjoy this moment – let it go, experience this moment – let it go. Ending in the penultimate expression of death and rebirth, Savasana. Leave something behind on the mat that no longer serves you and rising up a little more empty.
This consistent awareness of this practice will lead you to a less stressful existence as you find yourself rolling and riding the waves a little more gracefully — and that my friends is the road to wellness.
to your health and happiness – no matter the circumstances you are currently experiencing.