I have been reading The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. What a find! The words and meaning behind them, or the meaning that it has for me at this point in my life, has come along at precisely when it was intended to for me. It is deep and true for this current portion of my life.
It is the second book that I have read by him, and have another one waiting for me when I finish this one. In a very brief summary, what I find in his writings to be so profound to me, is the ways in which he reminds the reader, and to a certain extent, himself, about the transient nature of our lives, the transient nature of everything around us. That we are all here but for a brief time. That any person or thing that we attach ourselves to is simply form, and that all of that is only here for a moment.
I think it is partly due to my aging process, but also, because of where I consider myself to be at this point spiritually and emotionally, that these concepts most appeal to me. I am well aware of the transient nature of my life, whether it be because of the death of a pet or loved one; living far away from those that I love and minding it; or when I think about a future with my beloved, and worry that we might not see as long of a future as I would like for us to have, for one reason or another. I think about how fortunate I am to have the shelter, food, and finances I need to care for myself. Yet, even with those blessings, every single thing and person in my life is here on a temporary basis.
To some, and to me, that can be a frightening thought. However, I am learning to remain in the present moment more and more in my daily living. When I stay in the moment, and I am not saying that is always easy to do, I am present. I take in what is going on around me with more attentiveness. I breathe a bit more deeply, and drive a bit slower and listen more. When I really am tuned in, I realize that I don’t have any fears when I am in the moment. The fears come when I am living in or reflecting on the past; or worrying and planning for the future. When I remember that all I have is the here and now, my fears cease, and I have a sense of peace and contentment within that is not with me easily at other times.
Now, this doesn’t mean that life always gives us pleasant moments. I am a generally happy person, yet there are some troubled times that have happened in my life and will continue to happen. Being in the moment, happy or troubled, sad or joyful, means that “this too shall pass”; both that which brings us happiness and that which brings us sorrow is fleeting, transient. It will pass.
So, in that frame of mind, I become more deeply aware of not only impermanence, but what I realized for me today is BLESSED impermanence. When I stay in the moment, free of my fears, I feel a deep sense of peace. For, when I remember, moment to moment, what a rare and special being that I am, and how much a part of the whole I am as my unique self, I truly feel blessed.