Impermanence: Facing our Mortality

I felt inclined to write a note today and have also posted this on Riverwalker Press on facebook

With the crisis in Japan continuing to escalate and the loss of so many lives once again punctuating our complacency, as it did when the tsunami hit Indonesia in 2004 killing over 230,000 people, we in the West must face our own mortality. The impermanence of life, normally ignored in favor of plowing ahead with our lives with little regard for the impact we make on our environment, strikes home when Mother Nature shows us just how insignificant we really are. But if you have been reading the channeled messages from Jeanne that we have been posting lately you might also note that crises such as these can be utilized to shift us, as they ask us to question how we really want to live our lives.

Sogyal Rinpoche says the following, in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: “As the world around us becomes more turbulent, so our lives become more fragmented. Out of touch and disconnected from ourselves, we are anxious, restless, and often paranoid. A tiny crisis pricks the balloon of the strategies we hide behind. A single moment of panic shows us how precarious and unstable everything is. To live in the modern world is to live in what is clearly a bardo realm; you don’t have to die to experience one.”

He then goes on to say: “The constant uncertainty may make everything seem bleak and almost hopeless, but if you look more deeply at it, you will see that its very nature creates gaps, spaces in which profound chances and opportunities for transformation are continuously flowering—if, that is, they can be seen and seized.” (-from pages 104-5)

This is where we are now, at the moment of revisioning our world, taking advantage of the moment that nature offers us to grab the chance to transform everything. We can all do this in some small way.

I insert a picture here of a tree branch that I often stared at off the deck last summer, until I finally took a picture of it. I call it the swimmer because it looks to me like a swimmer diving into the surf or swimming out of it. Speaking of impermanence, that branch, my swimmer, is no longer there. He went down in the mini tornado we had last fall. When I went looking for this picture I had taken of him last summer I was thinking of the people who lost their lives in the tsunami and the impermanence of all things. We can’t hold onto anything, but we can carry love, kindness, and compassion in our hearts at all times, now and as we pass into new life, as we go through the bardos now and later when we die.

For now, I send you good wishes that you may seize the opportunities now being offered to live differently. I am grateful for this opportunity, Jan

The Swimmer

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