Sunday, November 20, 2005

Boy, Everything Sure is Impermanent!

Got to hand it to the Buddhists, the enlightened ones, anyway!

They know the score when it comes to awareness of the impermanence of all things.

Many learned Buddhist authors that I've read are fond of saying: "All is an illusion." And my take on this is that our perception of all things, e.g. an apple, our feelings, are constantly changing. So the realities of both the apple and feelings are never fixed.

A bit tough at first for me to get my hands around -- given I live in America, where we seem to suffer the illusion that all things, including nature, can be 'fixed' or 'made better' and that they should then stay that way.

It's a cultural thing. Please forgive us.

But the older I get, I'm becoming more aware that things just don't stay fixed. In fact, change is the only thing that seems permanent.

Funny lesson: I like to wash my windows a lot - at least once each season. Love clean windows and the special quality of light that comes into my home.

As November's chilly temperatures locked in place, I got to work cleaning the inside and outside of the windows. It was tough work, and it pretty much took me the whole day to do the entire house.

The next day dawned sunny and bright, and I had about 6 or 7 hours to enjoy streak-free light before a sudden rain storm rolled by. It was only five or so minutes, but just enough to leave water spots on the outside of the windows in the front of the house. The job was ruined.

So how did I handle this? Next day, I redid the outside of windows - but just in the front of the house.

The following day, a new lesson: Workmen from the county water authority pulled up directly in front of my house, and began digging up the street to replace a main. It was a windy day, the dust was blowing everywhere; looked like a scene from "Lawrence of Arabia."

Then, guess what? Another short interval of rain.

My satisfaction with myself, and my desire to have this permanent state of shininess and perfection was in shambles.

After a bit of consternation -- I had to finally laugh. Truly, nothing is permanent, and the weather...the rain, wind, indeed, the earth's dust...changing each and every day, is a wonderful teacher.

Can I accept this reality -- brought home to me via the window-cleaning episode?

Working on it!


Noel Y. Bava said...

hi! buddy59! finally i got your link. have you seen "spring, summer, fall, winter, spring."? it'a a movie about a monk's journey to life. i have written about it in my september post.

i had difficulty understanding detachment but when i saw this film and read "the dream of the red chamber" i finally had enlightenment. it is a difficult principle to live by but it makes a lot of sense...

Buddy said...

Hi talented one:

No, have not seen that, but will ck out your archive, and will search different avenues to rent or buy it.

Always up for a good movie!

Not having seen the movie, I can't comment on 'detachment' issue as featured in it. But, yes, I am with you when you say it is difficult - to experience life fully, yet avoid falling into trances of fear, negativity, etc.

Day by day, yes?

Keep up the good work.