Impermanence, also called Anicca or Anitya, is one of the essential doctrines and a part of three marks of existence in Buddhism. The doctrine asserts that all of conditioned existence, without exception, is "transient, evanescent, inconstant".
I adore the equinoxes and especially favored is the Autumnal equinox which (northern hemisphere) is September 22, this year.
This day of being in-between reminds me of other pivotal moments. Like the top of the first loop of a roller coaster, it is a second of nothingness, neither ascending or falling back to earth we delight in the seeming weightlessness of this sparkling moment.
I like the space that exists between inhalation and exhalation, the quiet between the heart’s thumping and the moment before a thought coalesces. What is that undefinable nothingness before your best idea pops in from nowhere?
What does it feel like to capture the moment of nothingness?
Who are you when you are not DOING anything?
Why does not doing make us uncomfortable? What are we afraid of finding there?
One of the many goals of meditation is to fully realize that we are nothing.
We are... No... Thing.
And everything else are no things. When we can fully grasp the realization that everything is no thing, we can understand that all of the suffering we endure is truly an illusion. (Our egos love to resist that fact, our fear wants us to turn away from it and that is the illusion that keeps us suffering.)
That no thing is not about that we lack substance, that we do not exist. Realizing that we are no thing is also to realize that we are unified into a far greater some thing, those somethings built on relationships, seasons, interconnectedness, and change. We aren't the particles, we are the field, the waving, dancing undulating field. The separation between things is an illusion.
We strive to make things fixed, permanent, unchangeable but since everything is truly no thing this is an impossible task we have set for ourselves. Because we can never meet that desire we hurt and we suffer.
When we meditate in the space between breaths, it allows us to perceive ourselves as is. Stripped of desires, wants, agendas, whining, wishing and striving we come to a place of equilibrium. We come to the moment between moments and when we find ourselves there, we can truly see the nature of our no thing.
The equinox is an excellent reminder of our impermanent nature.
Listen Sariputra, this Body itself is Emptiness
The Heart Sutra's translation by Thich Nhat Hanh talks about this state of emptiness. As a mini ritual for this exceptional, no moment equinox go ahead and give it a read. It also has an accompanying mantra you can use.
If you do not meditate, if you find it difficult then I challenge you to find 10 minutes on the equinox to sit and just be. Read the heart sutra and deeply regard the concept of your own no thing ness.
Embrace the ambiguity. Embrace doing nothing. Embrace just Be ing.
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