15 September 2006

A Reminder of Impermanence

I typically wear a bodhi seed mala on my left wrist. The mala I’d been wearing for about 3 years broke this morning as I went to wrap it around my wrist. When I went for refuge and took vows (this is how one becomes a Buddhist) I was advised to bring or wear something that would remind me of what it is I’d vowed to do (among other things the essence of the vows are – ‘as long as space endures, as long as sentient beings remain, may I too remain to dispel the misery of the world, there are about 18 others that pertain to behaviors intended to decrease the amount of suffering I cause in the world, but I did sign on for the trans-incarnation package deal) and the mala was a reminder of that, plus I’d been wearing it daily for a long time and have uttered thousands of mantras and prayers on it. I also wore it when I was attuned as a Reiki Master/Teacher.

Much of meditation practice and study of Buddhism revolves around impermanence. The Buddha taught 3 things, in life there is suffering, suffering is caused by attachment, and the end of suffering comes with the cessation of attachment. When we come to realize that attachment to something or someone that is by nature impermanent causes our suffering, we learn to loosen our attachments in a way that is ultimately pretty liberating because in becoming more aware we can continually recognize that we are choosing our reality, rather than being swept along in circumstance.

I will miss it, I have another one, but it’s not the same, doesn’t fit the same, doesn’t feel the same, the beads are still very dark and haven’t aged. And I wrapped this one around my wrist knowing that in time, it too, will break and in time, so will my attachment to this life and this time. But in the meantime, I can take care with my new mala and my relationships which are new everyday and be mindful of the choices I make and the effects they have.

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