BAM… Impermanence!

Yesterday, I arrived at a job to do an install. I’ve been having one hell of a time with impermanence lately, among other things. I stepped out of the truck to survey the job and see what I needed to get done.

It could be a coincidence, but a strong breeze kicked up. As the breeze, and dust, washed over me, I turned to my right side. There on the face of the house next to me was a giant Tibetan flag. At that moment, I had a smidgeon of clarity. The first word, and feeling that came was impermanence.

It became abundantly clear to me, at that moment, nothing is in our control. Everything, and anything, is subject to impermanence. Everything ebbs and flows. It changes whether we want it to or not, we can do nothing about it, even if we tried our hardest.

I’m sure the struggle with it will continue, but there, in that moment, I came to terms with impermanence. BAM! It is what it is.

Gītassara Sutta: A Brief Commentary

Rod, from The Worst Horse and Shambhala SunSpace, posted this the other day on Facebook. It got my mind buzzing again, as it does from time to time, about the relevancy of music to Dharma practice.

The Gītassara Sutta

Bhikkhus, there are five dangers of reciting the Dhamma with a musical intonation. What five?

Oneself gets attached to the sound others get attached to the sound, householders are annoyed, saying, “Just as we sing, these sons of the Sakyan sing”, the concentration of those who do not like the sound is destroyed, and later generations copy it.

These, monks, are the five dangers of reciting the Dhamma with a musical intonation.

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“Bloom Like Flowers”

There is more than likely not one person who hasn’t heard of the disaster that has befallen Japan recently. An 8.9 earthquake triggered a tsunami, which has created more destruction than the initial earthquake itself. 1,000’s of lives have been lost, villages have been destroyed. Like the tsunami in Indonesia in 2004, which was the worst tsunami to date, people’s sense of comfort and normalcy has been changed forever.

My heart is with those affected by this disaster. I could never imagine something like this, but the fact of the matter is, we never know. The Earth does not discriminate and a natural disaster of this magnitude can happen anytime, anywhere.

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Autumn And The Reminder That All Things Are Impermanent

Of the four seasons, fall/ autumn would most likely be my favorite, with spring coming in a close second. I love the smells, the flavors, the color of the leaves— there is no denying when fall comes.

With that in mind, there is no denying the fact that fall is also a reminder of impermanence.

Spring brings beautiful green buds, those buds flower into an endless spectrum of color. The summer warms the air and produces expansive blue skies, and for those that are coastal, it also warms the water around us giving us the opportunity to refresh ourselves with a swim.

But fall, even with it’s death and decay, is quite beautiful. Here in New England we are known for some of the most magnificent shows of colors from our trees here. People day trip from areas close by just to take a drive down our highways and boulevards.

The beauty, like our lives, does not last and soon the air gets a chill in it. The snow comes and we are covered with a white blanket. The winter, in all of its cold glory, does not last either.

Everything is in a constant stat of flux. Like the waves that crash on our shores, the ebb and flow of the seasons, and our mortality, everything becomes nothing.

This is the time, Right Now!

Based on previous blog posts, and recent struggles, I’ve been thinking of and been delusional about impermanence. A thought popped into my head, maybe it was a slight awakening, or better yet, an understanding. The thought can be summed up in this quote that has been rattling in my brain, I’d say there were a source for the quote but I believe it was from my own mind.

“Death is not something that happens in the future,
death is something that happens in the present.”

I’ve been thinking so much about death, like it’s coming right around the corner. It’s been a morbid thought pattern I haven’t been able to break, until now. Understanding the fact I am obsessed and worrying to much about it is creating an abundance of suffering, not only for myself but for those around me.

I told myself, and others, that this past weekend may be the last on that we have with my father. Of course I was dwelling on the future, instead of enjoying the present moment that we were encountering. I was so obsessed with what would happen rather than what was happening.

I keep reminding myself that if I don’t just pay attention to everything happening around me, right now, I not only will be missing other things happening, but at the same time may be pushing others away. Not only that, but I am creating suffering in others by making them worry as well.

So, yes this post is short, I plan to live the words above and stop obsessing about what is going to happen. Instead, it’ll be about what IS happening, right now.

Eff you Impermanence!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I’ve been rather cryptic about some goings on in my life. Until now, I had to be sure a certain family member was aware of the situation before talking about it, and from what I know, they also know.

We, as Buddhist practitioners, are well aware that all things are impermanent, even those we love. We also all struggle with this impermanence, especially when it comes to those we love.

A quote I have tried to live by lately is one from Milarepa, the great Tibetan yogi.

When you are strong and healthy,
You never think of sickness coming,
But it descends with sudden force
Like a stroke of lightning.

When involved in worldly things,
You never think of death’s approach;
Quick it comes like thunder
Crashing round your head.
~ Milarepa

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Too Much Impermanence

Seems at times, especially lately, like the world is falling apart around me. Life and death are so intermingled, creating massive suffering. I feel completely and utterly beat down.

A schoolmate, who I haven’t seen in years, was tragically taken this past weekend. While walking down the street, the details are still unclear, an accident happened and she was struck by a motorist. This has caused a deep pain in my heart and, for lack of a better word, soul. She left behind not only sisters and other family members, but an 11 and 14 year old child.

Today, while I know I shouldn’t have worried to much about it, I checked to see what tributes and words people had left on her Facebook page. Her children had left some messages for her and I fell apart.

There I was, on lunch break, in my work van, weeping like I’d never weeped before. Visions and situations played out in my head. The things I take for granted every single f-ing moment became clear.

I learned it’s time to stopping f-ing around and take inventory of the things around me that are important. Because, if I don’t, life is way to short to not do so. I am grateful to those that have impacted my life in any way and wish I could repay your kindness.

Meh, this blog post is rather pitiful sounding, but man, impermanence is kicking the snot out of me these past few years. Just when things are getting little bit better *BAM* there’s another one. I understand, it’s the way things are, everything is impermanent but man, enough already!

Sorry to vent to much here, once I get a clear head I’ll post something that might make a lick more sense, till then…

Issues… Struggles…etc

Man oh man, the past week or so have seen some serious struggles personally. I’ve had some news and was forced to come to terms with impermanence in a way I wasn’t really prepared for. This has knocked me around a bit, and has steered me way off course.

Some others, who are close to me, are unaware of the news so there aren’t many details to explain. I’ve had a time and a half trying to get myself on the cushion. I know it is there that I can really try to focus on this thing, but once I get there my mind is unfocused and wants to go other places. I know this is my minds way off not dealing with this, but at some point I am going to have to force it to do so.

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Pondering Impermanence

A while back I mentioned here that my father had been sick. He hadn’t seen a doctor in eons and when he finally went to get a check up something was amiss. The doctor saw some blips on an x-ray/ ultrasound and it turned out he had multiple cancers.

He has recovered, so far…

He and my mother moved to Florida a couple years ago, but right now he is on Cape with us for the summer since work has slowed for him on Florida. He’s opened up a bit about the experience he went through, and the experiences to come when he gets back to Florida. He has a long way to go with treatment. Not for the cancer though, but after Vietnam he received a blood transfusion and it was tainted. I’m getting a little to deep into detail here, just wanted to give you some small background.

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