The Orchid sits regal in it’s simple clay pot. The cascade of flowers describes an elegant arch ending in several buds, full of the promise of more blooms. Each petal is colored with delicate care by an unseen paint brush; the nuances of tint and shade delight the discerning eye. What will be left when the last bud opens and the blossoms fade and die?
Attaching to what can’t be held
Our human inclination is to cling to delightful experience. We see the flowers as static and wish for them to last forever. We think of them in a single dimension as existing only now and never again. When they disappear we may feel sad, or may cling to the experience. How can I get this plant to bloom again soon? I should buy more Orchid plants. What if I could always have Orchid flowers blooming, and never have to go without?
Being and Non-being is a continuum
Looking deeply into the Orchid plant, we can touch the ground of reality. In its essence, rests all that it has been and may yet be. It is not simply a plant with flowers. It is air and water and soil. It is clouds, sun and nutrients. Its very cells are shifting, evolving into new biochemical patterns, in every moment.
When the blooms are gone, they are still part of what is real, but their form has changed. Everything that came together as an orchid bloom; still exists in the air, the clouds, the potting medium.
When the farmer looks at his field, planted with wheat, he sees the stalks filled with grain. When we look at a young child, we see who they may become. But we don’t like to look at the empty field of brown stubble after the harvest. We don’t acknowledge that even a precious child filled with great potential, will one day grow old and die.
Everything cycles into a place where it is not seen. We call this death and it causes us great suffering.
All Dharmas Arise, Abide, and Pass Away
Liberating ourselves from clinging to a concrete view of reality may seem a daunting task. It feels so filled with loss and sadness. Yet, when we can touch impermanence, we become free to experience life with a depth and delight that is not otherwise possible. Everything, even our very selves, are changing moving and flowing into the next moment of existence. We are not fixed entities. We will not last forever in this set of evolving configurations. Yet we will never disappear.
Nourishing the awareness of impermanence
As you walk mindfully through your day, notice the fluid, evolving nature of everything around you. That tree on the corner of your street was once a seed and may one day be wood for a park bench. The building you work in, was once an idea in an architect’s mind; and will some time fall into rubble and dust, or become soil and the minerals that a seed needs to grow into a tree. Nothing is ever lost. No thing goes nowhere. No thing comes from nowhere.
Breathing in I am aware of my body
Breathing out I experience my body changing.
Breathing in I notice the evolving nature of the world around me.
Breathing out I open to the changes in my own being.
Breathing in I feel free of clinging to a solid world.
Breathing out I enjoy the thrill of groundlessness.
Breathing in I feel the fear of loss
Breathing out I kindly hold my fear.
Breathing in I am free to enter into this moment,
Breathing out I open my hands.
Breathing in I intend to refrain from clinging
Breathing out I am here.
May this information benefit you, those you love, and all sentient beings, everywhere.
© Ellen M. Adelman PhD 2013, all rights reserved.
Mind Body Intelligence tm is a trademark of Ellen M. Adelman PhD and the Sage Healing Institute.
For more information visit www.sagehealinginstitute.com.