If you want to be free from this world of suffering, first
you must contemplate impermanence. —Torei
These words speak of a timeless truth—that everything passes. Nothing stays the same forever. Impermanence is the way of life and nature. Everything that takes birth has to die one day. Similarly, it is important to understand and apply this concept of impermanence to our daily life.
Each time you are getting caught in a vicious cycle of negative emotions, greed,
hate or compulsive possessiveness, think of impermanence and suddenly you will
be reminded of the need to look at your life with a fresh perspective. Majority
of our suffering is caused by ignorance.
We waste our life trying to measure up to the expectations set forth by others.
What Torei says in the above quote is that each moment should be a reminder of
the very nature of our life, its impermanence; that nothing is going to stick
around forever. Therefore, let not small things bother us, enjoy each moment, do whatever we need to do but let our efforts be directed towards a higher purpose—knowing ourself. And by doing so, we will understand that majority of our suffering is caused by our undue attachments and faulty thinking. And once we start contemplating on that basic
truth, we come to understand how we unwittingly contribute to our own
suffering—and what we can do to not do that.
—Parmjit Singh, PhD