Monday, December 8, 2008

Impermanence...

I don't know if it's because the holiday season is naturally a more stressful time of the year, but a few of my sistahs are going through some rather challenging times as of late. In one of my more difficult moments, my sistren texted me this passage regarding the Buddhist concept of impermanence. I had to read and re-read it a few times but somehow, it all made sense. And so, tonight, I am not going to write much but will just share the passage with you. I hope it helps.

One Love, Se'Lah

Impermanence

(by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh)

Nothing remains the same for two consecutive moments. Heraclitus said we can never bathe twice in the same river. Confucius, while looking at a stream, said, "It is always flowing, day and night." The Buddha implored us not just to talk about impermanence, but to use it as an instrument to help us penetrate deeply into reality and obtain liberating insight. We may be tempted to say that because things are impermanent, there is suffering. But the Buddha encouraged us to look again. Without impermanence, life is not possible. How can we transform our suffering if things are not impermanent? How can our daughter grow up into a beautiful young lady? How can the situation in the world improve? We need impermanence for social justice and for hope.

If you suffer, it is not because things are impermanent. It is because you believe things are permanent. When a flower dies, you don't suffer much, because you understand that flowers are impermanent. But you cannot accept the impermanence of your beloved one, and you suffer deeply when she passes away.

If you look deeply into impermanence, you will do your best to make her happy right now. Aware of impermanence, you become positive, loving and wise. Impermanence is good news. Without impermanence, nothing would be possible. With impermanence, every door is open for change. Impermanence is an instrument for our liberation.

3 comments:

me. said...

Very insightful...

vchelle said...

Thank you for sharing such an inpiring message. I am reminded everyday that time is on my side. Change is inevitable. I, again, accept my personal situation in terms of my job and my financial challenges. I've been feeling a lot better. Fear and anxiety are just thoughts that feed off of emotions. But if we stop thinking and just feel and BE, peace comes over us and that has happened to me again recently. Thank GOD I'm reminded of that and thank God for you!

So, Impermanence IS a gift of GOD and by GOD. We (I) do not have to dip in and out of every single change that happens in life. Instead, I can also be an observer sitting on a window pane looking at the impermanence taking place. And how I do that? I just stay in the present moment and just BE! No thoughts, no analysis, no questions, just a deep breath and accept. Some things need no thought. It is what it is.. Being! Thank you!

vchelle said...

I was reading this AM and came across the word Impermanence again and had to share this with all of you. The author Eckart Tolle was walking near a condemned home and here is what he had to say:

"It read: DANGER, ALL STRUCTURES ARE UNSTABLE. I said to my friend, "That's a profound sutra {sacred scripture}." And we stood there in awe. Once you realize and accept that all structures (forms) are unstable, even the seemingly solid material ones, peace arises with you. This is because the recognition of the impermanence of all forms awakens you to the dimension of the formless within yourself, that which is beyond death. Jesus called it "eternal life."

Enjoy!