As a child of the country, I had the opportunity to roam, explore and interact with nature. One favorite, yet fleeting, past time was finding dandelion blooms, open and ready for the next breeze. To pluck a stem and then gently blow on the bloom and see the seeds carry away in the breeze so carefree was perfectly synchronous with my feeling at that time, as a boy…..carefree and changing daily, letting my next idea move me to the next idea and activity, my mind open and being filled with learning. I only lived in the moment, this moment, and the last and the next were just flickers of the film of my living.
Fortunately dandelions grow just about every where, rural and urban, but I wonder how many children today experience that almost mystical moment of blowing on such ethereal blooms to become one with nature and observe this signal of impermanence? Seeds to be carried by the breeze, perhaps close, perhaps very far, finding a tiny place on the Earth to await just the right amount of rain and sun to sprout to begin the cycle once again. The cycle of life, the cycle that permeates every bit of space within our bodies, within our consciousness, in every organism and throughout the entire physical universe.
All things change. This is one of the core axioms of all Eastern spirituality, a point totally missed (sadyly) by Western religions (at least as practiced today).
If we just pause a bit, and consider, the relationships we have with Everyone and Everything at this moment is not what it was yesterday, and really even a moment ago. It is easier for us to perceive over time, facilitated as memory – that construct that our brain facilitates with its divine algorithms – and we see changes in how we interact with our children, with our lovers, with everyone we know, and then meeting knew people, even our spectrum of relationships itself changes. To be opposed to such social change is to stagnate and begin to die within…..but count on impermanence to move even the worst person to another “place.” Nothing can defy impermanence. To live and move through this life we must embrace impermanence.
While impermanence is the nature of the universe itself, and is the only constant in the universe, we have within the ability to nurture and create an attitude of LOVE that also can be a “constant.” Learning to LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY penetrates all states of compounded change in our relationships. It is not an easy thing to do at times, but if cultivated, increases the light on our own paths, and will brighten the light of those we love and illuminate our worlds.
Buddha’s last words – more or less (there are various translations and interpretations of those last words, of course) – were: everything changes; and strive to free yourselves.
So he was just reminding his monks of the impermanence of all, and that they needed each to free themselves from the cycle of existence (in accordance with Buddhist view).
While I as a Buddhist continue to explore the teachings, the simplest thing to accept is the fact of impermanence. I have found in my life that to be open to impermanence, to welcome and embrace it is to become one with Living.
What I have found in doing so is…. less suffering, greater vitality in relationships, dampening of ego, a knowing that I can create my world and change things for the better, all by realizing there is this wonderful aspect “thing” of impermanence that creates the space to make things better in the next moment.
So have an increasingly wonderful impermanent day!