A Buddha’s truth: Nothing last forever

Buddha’s Four Noble Truths

1. Life is characterized by impermanence and suffering, or Dukkha (suffering).

2. The Origin of Dukkha is attachment to desire.

3. The cessation (end) of Dukkha is achieved, not by belief, but by the contemplation, understanding, and elimination of desire and attachment.

4. The Noble Eight-fold Path is the way to achieve the cessation of Dukkha.

I am at a stage in my life that the path ahead is shorter, much shorter than the path behind me. I try to spend as little time possible looking backwards but I am human and sentimental so there are occasions I find pleasant to recall.

When I think about these moments I also understand the impermanence of each one of them. The birth of my children for example. These events happened but it hasn’t and won’t happen again. Now it may be a permanent incident in my mind but the reality is it happened once for each child and no matter how hard I try to hold on, I won’t experience it again.

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” – Rabindranath Tagore

The Buddha taught that the reason we suffer is because we can’t and won’t let go. We assign the label of “it will last forever” too to many things and people in our lives and, if you are like me, that is a pretty long list. Family, marriages, love, jobs, friends, health, money are just a few we try to insist are permanent fixtures. And when we discover they are not either through death, or divorce or just time, we suffer.

As the parent of young adults I understand how hard it is to let go, to loosen the grip. Pining for days of old is both futile and unproductive. Change happens. People, places and events are fluid, always in motion. You may stop or slow down each briefly but they will never grow roots.

When I need a reminder about impermanence I look at the stars at night. The light we see, the twinkle that adds life to a dark sky is from a source that has long since vanished. And if we look into the next nights sky, that light to may have disappeared, replaced by ones to carry on the dance, as there are others ahead to carry on your dance and mine.

“In our lives, change is unavoidable, loss is unavoidable. In the adaptability and ease with which we experience change lies our happiness and freedom.” – Gautama Buddha


About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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16 Responses to A Buddha’s truth: Nothing last forever

  1. Eliminating attachment, and desire…I’m sweating over here already. 😉 Attachment would be nearly impossible for me when it comes to family & friends. Very interesting post! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aperturesoftheall says:

    Great post! All of our suffering comes from attachment and the unwillingness to accept that the universe we live in is in a state of flux. The dance has been going on forever. It does not stop for us, and we need to accept that we are part of the waltz. Peace and blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sayanti aka Shine says:

    Very nicely you explained the impermanence or change in life. loved the the ending, the analogy of the impermanence with the stars of the dark sky. One more thing I must appreciate is throwing of words….those resonated with my emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Advanced Research Technology says:

    I’m finding change is just a prompt to assimilation and understanding. The events and gradually the emotions come and go, but the learning is lifelong and forever, and as such, takes us to a higher place at every turn.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is true that we cannot hold on to things forever, but there is one thing I am sure of, and I think of this Little saying ” Mother’s (Father’s) hold their children’s hands a while, and their hearts forever”
    This is a beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Simone J. Hrouda says:

    Yes, and if ‘nothing’ lasts forever, and I am ‘nothing,’ I am sure glad . . . I get to last . . . I would question it – for forever

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patty says:

    Let go and go with the flow. Hard to do, but it’s indeed about balance and control. Love this post. As usual 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: A Buddha’s truth part II: Right actions | Ends and Beginnings

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