Tibetan monks spend months intricately arranging grands of sand into beautiful mandalas. They spend hours everyday bent over arranging grain by grain until their creation is complete. Upon completion, they cheerfully destroy it in the ultimate celebration of impermanence.
Having a deep understanding and really accepting impermanence has helped me to remain in a calm and happy state in all kinds of situations from misplacing my mala beads, to coping with the death of a loved one.
I feel that impermanence on and off the mat works closely with Aparigraha (non-attatchment). When there is a pose I cant quite get into, I know that its not forever and that one day i will get there. This works the other way around as well, some days i can do poses i am not always able to do. Having this understanding allows me to be fully present and appreciate every moment. Letting go and accepting that this is how things are at this moment and its exactly how its meant to be has had a huge impact on my life.
When i am on the mat and my teacher says “ok, we are going to hold this Chaturanga for 1 min” I used to think to myself “ohh no, I am in so much pain, I don’t think i can do this”. This would often end with me not finishing the 1 minutes hold and feeling like i did not try my best. I now have a very different mind set and think to my self “I can do this, the pain is only going to be here for a short time – its not forever! I feel strong and determine, and accept that this body isn’t mine, it is just here temporarily as a vehicle in this lifetime and it is going to hold this 1 min Chaturanga”
One of my favourite quotes on importance is “Impermanence can teach you a lot about how to cheer up” – Pema Chodron
Submitted by Jade 200 hour Vinyasa Flow