Reflections on Impermanence

31 Oct 2021 3:40 PM | Genpo Roshi (Administrator)

     "Impermanence and the transient nature of life are usually seen as negative, something to be feared and resisted; but it is precisely because everything is being born and dying continuously that you are already liberated. Even if you would like to be attached and stuck, you cannot. Even if you try to cling to the way things are and to what you possess, you cannot do so. Isn’t this wonderful? Everything goes in its own time; you are free from all things, whether you wish to be or not. Most people fear loss of what they love and are attached to, but in actuality loss brings more freedom. Everyone is in a constant state of liberation, being born and dying countless times every second. There is no liberation apart from this cycle of birth and death. This very birth and death is nirvana."

— Beyond Sanity and Madness, page 7

     "The mind that creates no walls, no barriers, that has no abiding place, no footholds, is a beginner's mind. It is one with the continuous movement of life. Completely, fully, endlessly moving on. Exploring, realizing, experiencing whatever comes up. Only a mind like this can be truly joyful, always fresh and new."

— 24/7 Dharma, page 24

     "Like the vast blue sky, the One Mind of the Buddha defies all comprehension and can never be fathomed. It can only be realized by a Buddha. The One Mind is unborn and undying; yet it observes the flux of arising and decaying and recognizes the transient nature of all phenomena. Earth, grass, trees, walls, tiles, and pebbles all engage in Buddha’s activity. Awakening to the One Mind means to embrace impermanence and transcend all dualistic notions of life and death, self and others, good and evil. It is the only way to go beyond the sanity and madness of the world."

— Beyond Sanity and Madness, page 3

     "It's like a flowing river. The river flows very fast, very deep and wide. Constant movement, constant flow. This flowing river is life, is reality. But because the movement is so swift, because it is constantly changing and impermanent, we seek something permanent. We seek something safe and secure.

     "It is as though we were to get out of the river and dig a hole on the riverbank. The hole fills up with water. Looking for something safe and secure, something we can depend on, we play in that little pool beside the river.

     "What we are missing is being one with the flowing river, with life itself, with reality. It takes tremendous courage and faith to climb out of the little pool that has become dead, stagnant, and lifeless and jump back into the flowing river of life."

— 24/7 Dharma, page 26

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