Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“Permanent is not; impermanent is not; a self is not; not a self [is not]; clean is not; not clean is not; happy is not; suffering is not.”

on November 13, 2013

Seventy Verses on Emptiness, Nagarjuna (as referenced by “The End of Your Life Book Club”)

Reading a new book recently, I stumbled across this quote. Regardless of your philosophical beliefs, this may find it’s way into your understanding of each moment of your life and how you see yourself in those moments.

Things that may seem to be certain are not. Things that seem uncertain and impermanent may become solidified and confused for concrete. You cannot let the ground beneath you become quicksand within your mind. You can’t let something you “pencil in” become gospel at a moment’s notice.

You are here. You may not always be. Believe me, THAT  part was hardest for me to read. And while that may be difficult, it is nicer to know that you are yourself, that YOUR SELF is as balanced between two sides of the same coin. You ARE here and THAT means more than anything else.

Clean or not, doesn’t matter. Life can be messy. You know that and you can be prepared by simply showing up and being your genuine self.

Happiness. We all want it to stay forever. Unfortunately, it make take strong gust or a simple breeze to scatter the pieces of our lives all over the place. The “good” news remains that suffering is as permanent as happiness. Both cannot last forever, and while that may be unfortunate, it can be an enormous blessing as well.

Take a moment to recognize how the only thing you can count on is this moment. Right here, right now. And if you can do that, you can accept that the next moment requires no more focus than this one. Be ready for this moment. That is all you can do. Find within yourself the grace to accept that permanent is only a word, never a promise or a point of fact. Right here and right now. Be present.

I wish all of you the peace in knowing that this moment is your own. I also wish you comfort in knowing that you decide whether or not you face the next step, moment, days, weeks, months, with the same strength and perseverance. It won’t always be certain. It won’t always be clean. It won’t always be happy or unbearable. You have to trust in yourself that whatever it turns out to be, you are ready for.

Take it from me. You are always more capable than you believe yourself to be. That is what IS.


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