I saw a cartoon in a recent New Yorker magazine in which two people were finishing their dinners at a Chinese restaurant and had just opened their fortune cookies. One fortune read, “You are going to die.”We often uncritically think of impermanence as something terrible or, at least, unfortunate. Actually, it is wonderfully consoling. Just think about it for a while.
If you let this fact sink in — that life is short, and we all die — it can actually act as a powerful motivating force to help maintain focus and priorities. Everything changes and is impermanent, so are we fully present and making the most of this fleeting moment? Are we fully aware of what we are doing? Appreciating impermanence clarifies priorities, and it helps us identify any frenetic, shallow and ineffective activities we’re being distracted by. We see clearly the things that exhaust us and distract us from experiencing the blessing and opportunity of each particular day.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
I usually get a couple of emails a day from the Care2 folks. Here's an excerpt from a little article by Zen teacher Marc Lesser: