What does this Buddhist teaching tell us – that all of life is in a constant state of change – something I have been writing about for quite some time now. We all know – just as in our daily days which have a beginning and an ending – everything has a beginning and everything has an end, Think about it! Where do trees come from – they start with a seed and eventually become a tree subsequently dying and transforming back into earth.
Let’s venture out west to a place like the Grand Canyon – just as in the above example about trees – every rock formed in the Grand Canyon will eventually vanish – what will take its place is anyone’s guess but the fact is – there will be change. Does our air conditioner last forever? What about our cars? No, eventually everything will wear out and fade away. As is the case with the human body, we are born and subsequently we die.
What does this teaching tell us – well, one thing that could be learned and I guess the most important lesson is that expecting something to break (even if we wish it wouldn’t and could go on forever) enables us to deal with the loss when and if it does happen. Hopefully we will look at the change as something that was expected but also that we thoroughly enjoyed the item while we had it. Remember, enjoy what you have now in the moment and do not think about what you could have had.
Such an experience was had recently. We had to remove items from the top of our cabinets so that the vibration from having a new roof put on our house would not cause them to fall accidentally. While removing the items, we decided to wash them as they had been atop of the cabinets for a rather long time. Upon placing them back in their original positions atop of the cabinets after they were clean and the roof was done, a favorite “baby” dish was broken. While we saved the pieces with the hope of gluing it back together, I am trying to maintain that while it served its purpose, it lasted fifty-two years and as everything on this earth does, its time had run its course. Nothing lasts forever.
Did I want the dish to break – no. But, the reality of the situation is that one learns to make peace with the way things are. Instead of getting angry and saying or doing things one may regret – another way of handling the situation is to say: And there it goes! One might even add a touch of levity to the situation by saying “And another one bites the dust!” The whole purpose behind this philosophy though is to keep one’s cool allowing us to appreciate life as never before.
One day at a time – one day at a time!