by Parmjit Singh, PhD
If you want to be free from this world of suffering, first you must contemplate impermanence.
These words speak of a timeless truth—that everything passes. Nothing stays the same for ever. 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 for ever. 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.