Delaying your aging process with expensive, unnatural cosmetic procedures, texting your ex, and being attached to physical objects… all have one thing in common: the unwillingness of us humans to accept impermanence and deal with changes in a healthy way. This leads to deep suffering and stagnation. I wrote this blog to help you -and me- understand that nothing remains the same and how we can all better deal with impermanence, disintegration, death, breakups, and old age. This post, my friend, is for you.
I have found over the years that some buddhist teachings align enormously with Ayurveda’s principles. Being mindful and present is something you get used to when living an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Chew slowly, notice your sensations, listen carefully, wait before you react. All are under the mindfulness umbrella of being here, now.
Of course, being present is easier said and written, than done. In fact, many of us struggle with applying our own advice to our lives. Looking at yourself in the mirror and noticing the subtle, yet progressive changes on your skin as the years go by. Or having difficulty letting go of an important person in your life are triggers for many of us. It is at these times, of basically swimming upstream, that we should consider how we are dealing with impermanence and adjust in ways that bring us peace and contentment.
“all compounded things are impermanent”
The good news is that the unnecessary pain we inflict upon ourselves can be dissolved by understanding, digesting, and practicing the first seal of buddhist teachings (out of four) that “all compounded things are impermanent”. By compounded, the buddhist meant when two or more things come together, including the dimensions of space and time.
Things are impermanent. All things. Even rivers and fire which at first sight might seem always the same. Not realizing of this truth is living in samsara or illusion where the notions of “I” and “mine” dominate our perception of reality. Saying YES to this precept with conviction will allow us to free our minds, hearts, and bodies of assumptions, pain, and fear.
The kleshas, known as the causes of suffering according to Vedanta, the underlying philosophy of Ayurveda, also expose the importance of embracing impermanence. Kleshas are the toxins or poisons of suffering. The first one, Avidya or Ignorance happens when we mistake reality for illusion. Permanent for impermanent. Holding on to our bodies and filling them with botox and fillers because we can’t accept the fact aging is part of life.
Another Klesha is Asmita or Ego. Often times, we get attached to the way people made us feel and confuse it for attachment for those persons. It is not the person. It is how they made us feel. We define ourselves in terms of jobs, relationships, friends, status, cars, etc. “Mine” comes into play and promotes in us the desire to keep it all, forever. Not only is this foolish, but a great cause of unhappiness.
Raga, Dvesha, and Abhinivesha, the rest of the Kleshas, represent attachment, aversions, and fear of death correspondingly. When examined closely, they all relate to the law of impermanence: by clinging to people and things that one day will depart from our lives, by trying to avoid the inescapable, by fearing death and denying the impermanence of life itself.
Living life to the fullest and accepting everything changes can be incredibly liberating and healing. You can love and live without getting attached to things that will eventually be taken away from you. How to accept this truth?
Become more spiritual and meditate. By believing there is something more powerful than yourself you can come to terms with change, with death, with ruptures. Knowing I have a soul that will survive my body frees me of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Observe nature. Some of the most important lessons to our lives can come from carefully observing nature itself. How trees, water, and the sky don’t get attached to outcomes or things and are just there, looking at us in peace.
This too shall pass
The happiness, the sadness, everything will eventually come to cease its existence. This will help us be more humble when going through the ups of life, and less desperate when living the downs. Nothing lasts forever. This too shall pass.
I wanna know how you deal with impermanence. Let me know in the comments below.
Monica Gisella xx