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All Things Must Pass


"Sunrise doesn't last all morning.

A cloud-burst doesn't last all day.

If it seems my love has up

and has left you with no warning.

It's not always gonna be this grey.

All things must pass...

All things must pass away."

George Harrison

If you've lived long enough (at least 10 years), you've no doubt noticed that all things in life eventually change; that nothing remains the same for very long. Relationships, jobs, places we live; all of these arise and pass away; come and go like the wind. This is also true of our thoughts, emotions and moods; they are constantly changing, and passing like clouds in a boundless sky. If we look deeply, all of our suffering arises from trying, in vain, to hold onto the things that naturally pass from our lives. If we are honest, It is never the actual loss, but the thoughts we have about what is leaving that create sadness and despair in our lives. We actually believe, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, that the things we like should remain exactly the same forever.

Depending on whether our mind judges what is passing as either favorable or unfavorable, we create the inner feeling of either peace or discontent. Often, we believe that our happiness depends on the circumstances of our life being in a particular way, and when those circumstances inevitably change, it can throw us into a pit of suffering. Instead of flowing with what unfolds, knowing that it is always happening for our complete benefit, we resist what is passing from our life, and in the process, create misery and unhappiness for ourselves. Yet all of us have been in situations where, though something changed or was taken from us, a year later it ended up being the best thing that could have happened. The failed relationship opens the door for the new romance; losing the soul-sucking job leads to the carreer we have always dreamed of.

Even the Buddha said that the contemplation of impermanence, the truth that everything that arises eventually passes away, can lead to freedom and enlightenment. When we discover the truth of who, and what we are, we find that our true nature is like a vast and endless sky, and in this sky, all of the phenomena of our lives pass like clouds. Everything that arises in our awareness eventually passes away, but the awareness that we are, never changes. To be free, all we have to do is begin paying more attention to the awareness of who we are, rather than fixating and clinging to what is passing through our lives. In this shift of our focus from all of the things 'out there' that constantly change, to the sky-like awareness that never changes,we discover the freedom and openess that we long for, and the joy of our own perfect Buddha Nature.

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