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The Beauty of Impermanence

Embracing the nature of change

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

'The Open Palm' podcast is available on Anchor, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

I learned many lessons while living with Burmese monks and nuns. Some teachings had me in awe. Others caused me to reevaluate my life. One of the greatest gems I took with me is that nothing is permanent. Everything changes and all life consists of this impermanent nature. You can apply this teaching to anything. Wealth is not permanent, but neither is poverty. Health may not be permanent, but neither is sickness. Motivation is not permanent, but neither is boredom. In your life, you will have up days and down days. Neither good times nor bad times will be permanent.

As you are reading this, look and take in your surroundings. Realize that none of these objects is permanent. Things may decay and dissolve over time, but nothing stays the same forever. You may be in the presence of others. Realize these people aren't permanent. Even at this moment, your body is in a constant state of change. I may even be gone by the time you read this, for one day I will leave this green earth. It doesn't have to be a frightening thought because, remember, nothing is permanent.

Observe the wonderful nature this planet has. Be grateful for it because nothing is permanent. Take a deep breath, release, and be thankful. Because even your breath is not permanent. Has it been a long time since you talked to a loved one? A family member or a longtime friend? Give them a call and share a kind word. It costs you nothing, and nothing is permanent. Do you have a pet that you love dearly? Appreciate tender moments with them. Accept that one day they'll go away or go astray. Accept that no one and nothing is permanent.

You can use this as a positive in your life. Knowing that life and our time here is precious. The sun in the sky is precious. The birds that sing are precious. All of life can be looked at as precious. For there is no life that is permanent.

Our greatest gift

"Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible."~Thich Nhat Hanh

Now imagine for a moment things were different. What if everything was permanent? Imagine if no one ever died. A world full of vampires or beings that lived on for eternity. Can you guess what comes next? That's right. You would not exist. You would never have come into being. You would not be reading this blog post, which is also not permanent. There would be no chance to appreciate life. It is because nothing is permanent that you are here. It is because of impermanence that you're alive.

Since nothing is permanent, we get to spend time together on this wonderful planet. Each of us here in transition. Here in passing during our unique journeys. Able to impact each other for better or worse. Able to breath in the air, see the sun, and phone a friend. So many experiences that you get to have and share, and all because nothing is permanent.

When you start to see life in this way, it becomes a wonderful game. You can appreciate joy and sadness. You can have love for a friend and an enemy. You can find beauty in the briefness of it all. Be all that you can be while you are here. Relish relationships and make each of them count. The present is our greatest gift. Go and discover your power in impermanence. 

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”~Alan Watts

Find me on Twitter and Instagram: @jromeshaw

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Jerome Shaw
Jerome Shaw

I am a Blogger/Podcaster currently living in Los Angeles. All my life I've been inspired by others and I strive to be that for you. If I can spark even one person to become their greatest version, I know that one day you will do the same.

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