If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever.
Your mind is your predicament.
It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death.
But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.
Posts Tagged ‘impermanence
“Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope -—a slight change, and all patterns alter.” –Sharon Salzberg
There are so many meanings that can be drawn from the above statement, I should probably let it go at that (but I won’t *wink).
When I allow my mind to shift in the direction of unconscious thought or action, my life and all its pattern go one way and when I am mindful, my life and all it’s patterns form a different picture.
Each person, every thing I come in contact with changes the pattern – but not as much as the letting go in my own heart and mind . . .
Have a great one luv,
The face of impermanence is constantly showing itself. Why do we struggle to hide it? Why do we feed the circle of suffering by perpetuating the myth of permanence? Experiences, friends, relationships, possessions, knowledge – we work so hard to convince ourselves that they will last. When a cup breaks or we forget something, or somebody dies or the seasons change, we’re surprised. We can’t believe it’s over.
… Permanence would be awkward. There would be no beginning and no end . . . Everything would last forever. There’d be no seasons. We’d never be born, grow up, fall in love, have children, grow old or die . . .
No matter how we want to cling to our loved ones, by nature every relationship is a meeting and a parting. This doesn’t mean we have less love. It means we have less fixation, less pain. . . we can relax into the ebb and flow of life.
We don’t have to keep imitating an idea of permanent happiness.
Understanding the meaning of impermanence makes us less desperate people. It gives us dignity. . .
~ SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE, Turning the Mind into an Ally
For me this dignity is essential in cultivating a heart of compassion (and Sakyong points to this also). If my heart is full of fixation there is no room for anything else to exist. It’s as if this letting go is a first step in taking the focus off of merely myself and opening up to something larger than myself.
I find that embracing the nature of impermanence in the seasons, in financial areas, and relationships to be easier these days. The impermanence in knowledge is becoming more evident in this information age as “things” we thought to be true are quickly outdated and replaced by new information – it’s funny, I still hold certain knowledge to be more permanent – I grasp this tighter; I hold on with a closed fist – especially when I do not see the difference between knowledge and my opinion or I try to make a certain knowledge “fixed” rather than unfolding (which happens when I am caught up in my blue or orange development – see Spiral Dynamics).
I hope to cultivate a bit more dignity in this area.
I can get sentimental over the holidays (I suppose it’s better than bitter and/or depressed). I have an affinity to certain timeless and transcendent lessons in childhood stories, The Grinch, Charlie Brown, Pee Wee’s Christmas (HAH!) . . . but the video below is a clip of my all time favorite. No speaking (but for a bit of music and song) – there is no need for words. Beautiful renderings in pastels and what I feel is the most HONEST lesson about life – joy, hope, imagination, clinging, sorrow and Impermanence.