Posted in Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism

Impermanence

The Radiant Buddha said:

Regard this fleeting world like this:
Like stars fading and vanishing at dawn,
like bubbles on a fast moving stream,
like morning dewdrops evaporating on blades of grass,
like a candle flickering in a strong wind,
echoes, mirages and phantoms, hallucinations,
and like a dream.

— the Eight Similes of Illusion,
from The Prajna Paramita Sutras

I copied this passage into a journal entry dated 12-2-02. It gives me a soft, gentle ache in my heart to read. Because I understand impermanence. 

No, really. I do.

You see, I’m a breast cancer survivor. I had Stage III B on a scale where the next step up is nearly always fatal. So I’ve had an up-close-and-personal view of death. Of impermanence. Of life. And gratitude.

I’m so grateful to the Buddha for reminding us that it is all just an illusion. It helps keep me from getting too attached to this form. May it help you, too.

~Jabo

Image

Author:

Ven. Dr. Myodo Jabo (Sandy Gougis) is a Zen Master and Priest in the Five Mountain Zen Order. She began studying Theravâdin Buddhism in 1998, adding Zen in 2003, and Vajrayana Buddhism in 2008. She currently practices in both the Zen and Tibetan traditions. Her Zen teacher is Most Ven. Wonji Dharma of the Five Mountain Zen Order, and her Tibetan guru is Lama Tsultrim Allione of Tara Mandala. In her free time, Myodo enjoys painting, jewelry making, and other creative endeavors.

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