Sandcastles. . .
Impermanence is neither negative nor positive, it just is. A true understanding of it brings insight into our lives, and allows us to live with impermanence, rather than living to keep it away. In a practical sense, this understanding allows us to:
  • Deal with the difficult times in our lives, by reminding ourselves that this too will pass.
  • Deal with loss better, and find the wisdom in letting go of what needs to be left.
  • Appreciate life more, and our time with others. In fact, death contemplation is practiced in Buddhism, and often can motivate us to strength our Buddhist practice before we breathe out our last breath.
  • See our life as a whole, instead of being caught up in our insignificant routines and unnecessary pickiness.
  • See the changes in life as a natural phenomenon, which allows us to accept what happens to us in life, instead of resisting against the natural rising and ceasing of all phenomenon. That resistance itself is often the source of our suffering.
From my personal experience, I have felt the hurt from a loss is prolonged and strengthened because of my attachment to permanency. Once I’m mindful of my attachment, contemplated on its essentially impermanent nature, and eventually let it go, a feeling of lightness and liberation overwhelms me. This experience motivates me to face the next experience of impermanence with the same gentle acceptance. In time, impermanence is not something we have to put up with, but something we live with. Do you know what is the difference between knowing about impermanence and understanding it? Imagine a child and a mother building a sandcastle on the shore. When the waves crash onto the sandcastle, the child cries, but the mother doesn’t. The truth of impermanence doesn’t mean we should stop building sandcastles. It just means we need to know they don’t last forever. So make the most of your every moment, and enjoy the sandcastles while they last. Peace and Love, Jim
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