As the seasons slowly change, it seems opportune to reflect on impermanence.

Although we all know that life is impermanent, most of us function like this body and brain are immortal.

When, out of the blue, impermanence strongly touches our life, we are often overcome by shock and fear.  But it usually doesn’t last long.  Swiftly, we return to our illusion of permanence.

Ironically, there are many benefits to remembering and befriending impermanence as a daily reflection.

Recalling the transient nature of this existence can:

  • help us get our priorities straight;
  • remind us to celebrate each precious moment;
  • be an impetus to use our time wisely;
  • unlock love and compassion from our heart;
  • motivate us to examine the nature of reality and seek that which is true and unchanging.

Gradually and gently, we can make peace with the mortality of this body and come to know the unending, deathless nature of mind.

Reflections on impermanence

Here are two of my most treasured quotations on impermanence for our Sunday reflection.

“This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds.

To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.

A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky.

Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.”

-the Buddha

“The birth of a man is the birth of his sorrow.  The longer he lives, the more stupid he becomes, because his anxiety to avoid unavoidable death becomes more and more acute.  What bitterness!  He lives for what is always out of reach.  His thirst for survival in the future makes him incapable of living in the present.”

-Chuang Tzu

How do you relate to the idea of impermanence?  Do you find reflecting on impermanence beneficial?

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