Impermanence dictates that all existence is in a constant state of flux. The everyday arising and passing of events, relationships, feelings, and experiences never stops unfolding. One thing that is certain about the future is that it will be different than this moment that I am passing through (and is passing through me) for impermanence dictates that in a single form, we contain everything. Darkness contains everything, even light – so in every moment anything is possible. Every moment is fresh and precious, and can’t be stopped from changing. Why would we want to stop it? It is because of this natural flow of moment-to-moment change that anything happens at all.
What do I do when I find myself resisting this ever-unfolding truth, if I don’t like what I’m experiencing out of some habit of mind, or if I am for whatever reason uncomfortable with things as they are? I stop to remind myself that this eternally brand new quality of my existence is a gift. Each moment is one-of-a-kind and is exceedingly rare; each moment has never come before, nor will it ever come again, and it’s gone in an instant.
Without these natural fluctuations and impermanence, nothing is possible – without it, the Universe would be stuck in one state. This Universe we are a part of is incomprehensibly rich in diversity, and expanding continuously in an evolutionary dance into the unknown future. We owe this richness to impermanence, to the fact that nothing is ever the same, even from one pico-second (0.0000000000001 second) to the next. Like trying to jump around and see yourself, if you try to catch it, it’s already gone.
Blink and you’ll miss it.
Why not instead relax and merge with it, experience the richness of impermanence as your true nature, and join this dance of sometimes wretched sometimes ecstatic but always staggering uncertainty? Give yourself over to this uncertainty, take solace in the fact that anything and everything is possible because you contain it all within your being.
In awe-struck humility I extend my deep gratitude to this truth of impermanence, thanks to which, as Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
Cameron Gilley has been teaching yoga for over 8 years and has a vested interest in yogic philosophy. He is a faculty member of Semperviva Yoga College, and will be greatly involved in the 200 Hour Full Time Yoga Teacher Training in Vancouver starting July 30th. Cameron draws from his deep well of esoteric knowledge and endeavors to communicate it in an open and expressive manner.
Check him out at camerongilley.com