I’ve been getting lessons in Impermanence this week. On Monday I was laid off from the job I’ve held for seven years. Yikes! And as I was driving home, feeling slightly shell-shocked, I got a call from my daughter saying that she had totalled the car that has been in the family for 10 years… again yikes!… (no serious injuries — thanks be)
Oddly, just last week I went to see the Sand Mandala that was constructed by Tibetan monks visiting Phillips Academy in Andover. What an beautiful work of art…it was breathtaking in its color, detail, perfection — it was the single-pointedness of concentrated minds made visible. And it was, in the end, swept away in a dissolution ceremony on Friday night. Impermanence — it seems to be everywhere… And of course it always is — I just noticed it more this week. It can be a very frightening thought to a clinging mind.
And yet. As Priscille said at a recent Tuesday sitting — change — impermanence — is a necessary part of creation, birth, joy, and all manner of wonderful things. If things never changed, they could never get any better, there would be no more surprise. It would be a form of living death.
And so the dance continues. The plant dies, the seed is buried — and Aha! there is the new growth, with new possibilities. And while it’s a little bewildering to have things change so abruptly — there is a piece of hope, excitement, even joy in wondering — what next?