I have been spending time recently learning about the Buddhist notion of impermanence – the fact that nothing last forever. Shit dies! The more I delve into this practice the more I see its validity.
I had the idea of going for a cup of coffee this morning before I headed to work.
I conceived the idea.
I hopped into my car and drove to Bean Around Books.
I breathed life into my conception.
I ordered a large vanilla latte.
I birthed my idea.
I drank it and gave the cup back.
My idea died.
Everything thing has a shelf life. Something is conceived, it has an existence and it dies. Everything! A job; a pet; a car; a relationship; an apple; or a project. There is nothing that can escape this cycle. This is good news!
We can use these real life opportunities to recognize our own impermanence and to then embrace our life moment to moment as fully as we can. Each moment comes and goes too, as does each hug. When we really open to this idea the ‘shit dies’ we automatically open to the truth that this moment exists and we CAN embrace it fully.
We can also use these real life beginnings and endings to help us develop skills and rituals to support us in dealing with endings we hold as much more significant. The death of a pet, friend or family member can be challenging if we have not developed the skills and abilities to deal with death in a full, human, and graceful way.
Take a meal for example. We can mark the beginning of the meal with a prayer of thanks for the growers and cookers of the food. We can enjoy the meal and fully participate in it. We can close the meal by doing the dishes with love and gratitude -A complete life cycle.
We can do the same sort of thing with a day, a week, a season, or a year. Opportunities are everywhere to support of practice of accepting that everything including things near and dear to us are impermanent.
The birth, the life, the death, and the gap. Over and over it repeats. Practice well and the embrace of life will be fulfilled.