The wisdom traditions all talk about impermanence. Intellectually, we know it is true that nothing stays the same. And yet, we find ourselves disappointed or even devastated when what we know intellectually works itself out in our presence.
We struggle to accept loss, when the reality is that loss is predictable, inevitable – and written into the fabric of existence.
A friend who is a mindfulness teacher speaks of his favourite mug. He loves the shape, the colour, the feel of it in his hands. One day he accidentally hits the mug with his elbow, knocking it to the floor, where it breaks. And he remembers, “Of course. The mug was always broken.” In its temporary condition of unbrokenness he was able to enjoy it; now it is returned to its natural state.
Remember that if you are able-bodied, powerful, beautiful, intelligent, strong, popular, wealthy, etc. – these are all temporary conditions.
Enjoy them while they last. But don’t get used to them and don’t think you’re somehow entitled to them. And don’t identify with them. You are not those things.
You are part eternal, part stardust.
With the emphasis on dust.
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