Tag Archives: impermanence

Impermanence

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Die! Die!
Cut off those chains
that hold you prisoner
to the world of attachment

— Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (Rumi) – Love Poems of Rumi (edited by Deepak Chopra) – Excerpt of Dying to Love

Time has come to say goodbye. I have been thinking seriously over the last month about the future of this blog. As you might have read in the “About the Author and this Blog” menu, this blog was initially intended to be a 365 day project for me. The question recently came up what would be the future of the blog after this period of time. I have seriously taken into consideration to continue this blog with text I would have written from my own experience and how I live my spirituality. It is now a year that has passed since I started to put one quote a day and this was not easy at all. I remember running down the stairways of the Shechen Monastery Guesthouse in Nepal to ask Tashi, may he blessed, to start the WiFi connection at 4 o’clock in the morning, just to put my article online on time.

Yes, all this has been a challenge I have decided to take up. After several years of spiritual practice I decided to dedicate one year to cultivate only positive thoughts every day and shape my mind constantly towards virtue, to do positive deeds and to spend as much as possible of my time reading what other lineages, religions and spiritual teachers have written. My root lama once told me to study other spiritual texts to broaden my view, and I think that was a good idea. And this has been fulfilled this year. It has brought me a lot of good and I hope that the readers of this blog have found some interesting meditations here too.

For due to acquaintance with what is wholesome,
The force of my faith may for a short while
increase because of these (words).
If, however, these (words) are seen by others
Equal in fortune to myself, it may be
meaningful (for them).

— Shantideva – The Bodhicharyavatara – Chapter I – 3

Now, the day has come that this project is over. I think that this is the best teaching about impermanence I personally could receive and give to those people reading the quotes posted here day by day. I don’t pretend to be enlightened and I don’t pretend to have deep knowledge about spirituality, but I know that we have to let go this body one day. We die every moment and every day. Death permeates our existence but we avoid to look at it or understand it. Keeping in mind that death is but a step away, we will certainly understand the urge to abandon worldly concerns and turn towards virtue and spirituality in order to free ourselves from the bondage of our false self. The deathless is always in the palm of our hand and we just have to grasp it instead of grasping to concepts and living in ignorance and illusion.

During the time I maintained this 365-day-project, I have made many friends and discovered many different blogs about spirituality. I went personally through a lot of hardships on my spiritual path during the last years, knowing that truth is a pathless land. But to reach this land I had to tame the elephant that is my mind. I did a lot of meditation and purification practices to prepare my mind to stay in the light of awareness and abide in it like one of the pillars of Ashoka. The mind is like a monkey that needs to be hold tightly by the rope of mindfulness. I guess I am a very bad disciple because I have discovered some people through WordPress blogs that have attained perfect enlightenment without taming their minds and without the guidance of a true spiritual master. Today everything seems to go quicker and instantly and so it seems to be with spirituality too. I’d call it “Instant Enlightenment” (like the coffee)  and it will probably be sold in tin cans in a couple of years. Neo-Advaita teachers spring up like mushrooms with always the same message… “there is nothing to do”. The only message I personally would like to leave here is that there is a lot more to do than to understand that there is no such thing as a separate “I”, an observer, observing the “outside world”, grasping, rejecting and putting labels on it and hence seeing it through the veil of ignorance. Theory is not enlightening. Most of us need a certain preparation before we will be able to bring those teachings into practice and fruition. This preparation is consisting of preliminary practices to purify and tame the restless mind. Mind being conditioned and agitated for ages will not be tamed only by intellectually understanding that duality is ignorance and that there is only one divine non-dual reality. This knowledge is a nice point of entry to spirituality, but it is not a means to its end. So, always beware of thinking that you may have reached enlightenment because this could cut you straight from the path of spiritual evolution. Truth is a pathless land, but there is a path that should be followed to unveil truth, no matter what tradition you are into. There are very interesting articles on the Internet about this issue and the traps and pitfalls in the “Neo-Advaita” or “Pseudo-Advaita”. You may want to read the article on www.enlightened-spirituality.org.

But anyhow, I have met a lot of very interesting people through WordPress. There were a lot of true seekers and some true enlightened beings. I will continue to read the blogs I have subscribed to and this blog will be kept up, at least as long as the domain name is still active. I’ll leave it to the ‘now’ whether I’ll continue to put new posts from time to time or not, but my daily updates are definitively over now.

Meanwhile I would like to thank all the readers and give all of you great hugs with lots of love. May all of you attain timeless happiness and love.

Metta,

JC

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Outward beauty, loveliness of form, charm of personality, whether it is yours or possessed by another, is of no lasting worth. Be not allured by this false show. Be not deluded by these transitory qualities. Handsome or ugly, fair or dark, delicate or coarse, exquisite or plain in appearance, all the forms that you behold are born of dust. They are dolls of clay. They are fleeting forms that will soon vanish and be no more. They are exactly like garments that we have purchased at the vanity-fair of this world, but which have to be discarded before we depart. Your aim in life should be to transcend them.

— Baba Sawan Singh

Do not let false delights of a deceptive world deceive you

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You cannot possibly say that you are what you think yourself to be! Your ideas about yourself change from day to day and from moment to moment. Your self-image is the most changeful thing you have. It is utterly vulnerable, at the mercy of a passerby. A bereavement, the loss of a job, an insult, and your image of yourself, which you call your person, changes deeply. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. And to know what you are not, you must watch yourself carefully, rejecting all that does not necessarily go with the basic fact: ‘I am’. The ideas: I am born at a given place, at a given time, from my parents and now I am so-and-so, living at, married to, father of, employed by, and so on, are not inherent in the sense ‘I am’. Our usual attitude is of ‘I am this’. Separate consistently and perseveringly the ‘I am’ from ‘this’ or ‘that’ and try to feel what it means to be, just to be, without being ‘this’ or ‘that’. All our habits go against it and the task of fighting them is long and hard sometimes, but clear understanding helps a lot. The clearer you understand that on the level of the mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker you will come to the end of your search and realize your limitless being.

— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am Not – To Know What you Are, Find What you Are Not (p. 56)

The impermanence of the illusive self-image

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This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jalalud’din Rumi – The Essential Rumi – The Guesthouse

The Guesthouse

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What is creation? Not of the painter, or the poet, or the man who makes something out of marble; those are all things manifested. Is there something that is not manifested? Is there something that, because it is not manifested, has no beginning and no end? That which is manifested has a beginning, has an end. We are manifestations. Not of divine something or other, we are the result of thousands of years of so-called evolution, growth, development, and we also come to an end. That which is manifested can always be destroyed, but that which is not has no time. We are asking if there is something beyond all time.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Light in Oneself – Page 49

What is Creation?