Riding the waves of impermanence

“Everything together falls apart.
Everything rising up collapses.
Every meeting ends in parting.
Every life ends in death.”

– Udāna Vagga 1.22


In times of crisis, distressing emotions are aroused by impending danger to our safety, health, security, honour, or integrity.  These emotions habitually arise whether the threat is real or imagined, whereas the depth of emotion varies for each person based on their life experiences and maturity of wisdom.  These raw reactions cause us to lament, stress and suffer.

The Buddha understood the cause of our suffering and taught us the reason behind these feelings of worry, fear and anxiety in the Four Noble Truths.  In essence, it is due to our failure to see the true nature of existence.  All conditioned existence, without exception, is transient and impermanent.

One who knows this core teaching of the Buddha by experience is unshaken by the vicissitudes of life.  One who denies or ignores this will only cause great pain and suffering unto themselves.  Let us choose to prepare ourselves mentally for changes in life, so that we can live each moment fully and not look back with remorse or regret.  Making peace with change means we are also making peace with life.