The Suffering of Change

The Buddha distinguished three common ways we suffer, which I began speaking about in the last dharma drop. The second way he suggested we all suffer is called the suffering of change and is more subtle then the first, the suffering of suffering. This teaching suggests we contemplate the inherent way experiences can be ultimately unsatisfying if we expect them to stay the same, as everything is in a constant state of metamorphosis. However invisible this process may be, our consumption and inattention keeps this subtle cycle hidden from us, keeping us naively unaware of this primordial process. The behavior that illuminates this common presumption and portends future despair is a cavalier attitude towards good fortune, as if it is immutable.

Take 5 minutes to review the serendipity in your life right now. Appreciate those dear to you, family and friends, who will not always be around. As you bring to mind each person, send them the wish that they too live with the recognition of ubiquitous change and be appreciative of this transitory existence, however challenging it may be. Bring a quality of gratefulness to your favorable circumstances, remembering that these come with no longevity guarantee. Commit to embracing the truth of change throughout your day today!