“Whatever IS will be WAS” ~ Bhikkhu Ñanamoli
When we consider the idea of impermanence we typically think about seasons changing,
emotions changing, changing jobs, etc. Here in Nova Scotia we say “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” (I think this is said in many areas). We see how things change when we look at the big picture. In fact there is not one moment that stays the same. The very body that we are born into is constantly changing as old cells die and are replaced by new ones. Bhuddist teachings compare life itself to a river, a series of different moments joining together to give the impression of one continuous flow; but the river of yesterday is not the same as the river of today.
Sometimes this impermanence brings resistance as people wish to cling to what was; other times it brings peace because we are able to recognize that each experience is temporary and can go with the flow. The impermanent nature of our experiences can be an equalizer in a sense. We might all experience sickness, health, prosperity, poverty, happiness and sadness. Who knows what the next moment will bring. Every moment rises and passes and with mindfulness we can see this constant flux and know that there is nothing that will last forever. Once we make our peace with that we will find more peace in our minds which will lead to liberation. As meditation master Ajahn Chah says, “If you let go a little, you’ll have a little peace. If you let go a lot you’ll have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you’ll have complete peace.”