May 6th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 18
Before Time Runs Out
Some of the best times I ever had were the result of attending strange venues that, normally I wouldn’t ever think of entertaining. For whatever reason, it’s been my experience that throwing caution to the wind and letting the universe guide you where it may, proves to be the best approach to life. It’s almost as if the more you try to control and influence your natural flowing direction, the more difficult and rough the road becomes.
For example, due to boredom, I attended an open discussion meeting that was based on the debate whether Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy. At that point of time I had no idea as to what Buddhism actually was and therefore just sat and listened to the rest of the group banter back and forth trying to connect the pieces for myself. As a result of attending this discussion, I decided to look deeper into what Buddhism actually was and thus began my journey of self-discovery which, in turn, led me to the path of recovery.
The most interesting concept that was revealed to me during the meeting, was a Buddhist proverb which states, “To become enlightened you must fully understand and accept the impermanence of everything.”
It didn’t sink in at first, but the more I thought about it, the deeper it became for me. Basically, I took it as everything in this world will eventually be taken away from me at some point and the more I try to hold on to things, the worse it will be when it’s time for them to go.
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Now, at first glance, this may look like a dark way to view reality, given that fact that it almost suggests that you should distance or separate yourself from everything in order to protect yourself from the inevitability of its loss. However, over time, I came to see it in another light.
I believe that everything in this life and our surrounding reality is given to us temporarily for a reason. That nothing we receive here is actually meant to last forever. In fact, I believe that it’s so that we can cherish and celebrate the time we are all given. Once we understand that the time we share and everything we have here is a fleeting gift, we then gain the insight to treat every moment like it’s our last. To celebrate everything we take for granted here is the true perspective behind the mantra.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am easily distracted and tend to lose my perspective quicker than a goldfish. Truth be told, I seem to lose my direction and focus very easily. However, I always resurface to remember this lesson. It’s that time is the most precious gift we have and how we spend it is the true measure of our soul. If you knew that tomorrow was your last day on earth, then how would you spend it? So then the real question is what’s preventing you from living that way today?
May 6th ~ Vol. 85 No. 18
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