Monday, January 22, 2018



Acorns on the ground.

Just yesterday, leaves were green.

    And that is the Way.

We talk about the Zen concept of living in the moment, about being aware of right now. Is that notion a limitation, a restriction? Does living now mean being stuck in the present, and nothing will ever be different?

        Not at all. Change is unavoidable.

The weather changes. Technology changes. Politics change. In a world of constant change, there is little we can be sure of.

        In a publishing company I once worked, the treasurer had a favorite saying. “There are three things in life that are certain: death, taxes, and an IOU in petty cash from Jack.”

        Our lives change, and will eventually go away. But why fear the close of life?  Death is part of the cycle.

        Why fear gray hair? Or no hair at all? Why fear wrinkles?

We may disagree with something new and unforeseen, but more often than not we can do nothing other than become frustrated.

        Lao Tzu said, “If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”

We know things change, yet too often we do not want to let go of what is. Sometimes we actively try to prevent change. Sometimes such an effort can be praiseworthy, but it is usually futile.

Especially when it comes to politics.

That doesn’t mean we stagnate and do nothing, but it does mean we must realize what we are doing, and how it may end.

Ignoring change will not cause it to cease.

Change has always been happening. It is inevitable.

As you learn, your thoughts change. As your thoughts change, your beliefs and behaviors change.

We try to stave off something unpleasant. Everyone fights against ageing, but whether we like it or not, the cells of our bodies are different from day to day.

You may be able to delay the inevitable, but you cannot make it go away. You cannot deny the natural laws of the universe, or deceive nature.

You can, however, modify your behavior and your thinking.

Change is the truth of reality. When we cannot or will not accept this truth, we become frustrated.

However, everybody witnesses change. In Japanese there is a term for such a recognition. It is called mono no awar, which translates as the reality of impermanent things.

        Recognizing and accepting the fact of change is a step toward awakening.