Three Benefits of Impermanence

"It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not."

- Thich Nhat Hahn

A habit I have developed is contemplating my demise.  For many this is unsettling.  Trust me on this.  It is liberating.  It is a practice I learned from G.I. Gurdjieff, the early 20th-century philosopher.  An excerpt from his short essay “The Last Hour of Life.” “Imagine, that you have only a few minutes, maybe an hour left to live; somehow you have discovered exactly when you will die. What would you do with this precious hour of your stay on Earth? Would you be able to complete all your things in this last hour, do you have a conscious idea about how to do it?” 

Here are three concepts I realized from contemplating that statement.

1.    I do not have the time to get so caught up in my drama -

In realizing that nothing lasts and I mean nothing lasts you will gain perspective.  Some day in the future our own Sun will explode into a supernova most likely destroying the planet we live on.  Well, my problems seem rather small in comparison.  I’ll share with you an insight I have had recently.  Of the seven billion people currently living on the planet, I am the only one who is caught up in my drama.  It is not to say that some may not care, but they are concerned about their drama.  Well, if they don’t care about my drama, then why should I.  Think about that for a moment and let it go. 

 2.    We don’t have any time to quarrel with each other  

Take a moment and look at the other people who may be present around you.  If no one is around when you read this, then stop and imagine a room full of people.  Now think of this; all who are around you will someday no longer be around at all.  Any resentments you may harbor will go when you go.  Knowing that how can you quarrel with anyone, including yourself?  It will all be gone soon enough.  Why not let go now and enjoy the moment.

3.    All harms done to you or harm you have done to others will go away no matter how hard you want to hold on to them.

Any wounds you may still carry and are unwilling to let go of will eventually be gone.  The only home they have is in your mind.  Someday, they will leave when you leave.  They will have nowhere to live.  They will disappear.  Knowing that why do you want to provide a home for something that does not like you and only wishes you harm. Let go of past transgressions.  You don’t have the time to hold on to them.


Until Next Week,

Rich Decker – Mindful Accord