Impermanence

IMG_0383 This is a theme that returns to me time and again.  Nothing stays the same, not the seasons nor the weather, not our relationships or selves.  We are always in a state of fluctuation, sometimes so subtle that we are unaware and other times so seismic that we are painfully conscious of its disruption to our lives.

Last Christmas my daughters gave me a Buddha Board.  I have it set up in a corner of our family room where from time to time I go and doodle on it.  It illustrates the concept of impermanence beautifully:

https://vimeo.com/125931110

Pema Chödrön once wrote that "impermanence is a principle of harmony.  When we don't struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality."  I find that if I am mindful of this belief then I am able to get through the rough times more gracefully.  I am like anyone else; there are days when I am perfectly content, days when I am restless, days when I am overwhelmed by life's demands.  When difficult situations and emotions arise, I honor the discomfort I am feeling; if possible, I step outside myself and try to be objective about what is happening to my emotional state.  Simply acknowledging that I am sad, angry, or frightened somehow empowers me to make a decision to sit with the discomfort or move forward and through.

I won't say that I always succeed; I have battled anxiety and occasional depression my entire life and if I am not careful I can become ensnared by one or the other.  But it seems that with maturity and faith in the belief that nothing is permanent I have been able to step back from the abyss with greater ease.

Pema Chodron quote

It sounds crazy right?  Once we stop struggling against impermanence we become harmonious with reality.

Jack Kornfeld once said, "When we let go of our battles and open our hearts to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. This is the beginning and the end of spiritual practice."

Open hearts + open minds = harmony of spirit.

A beautiful thought.

Sharing Nurturing Thursday {again, better late than never} with Becca.