The Paradox of Mindfulness: All Things Shall Pass

The Paradox of Mindfulness: All Things Shall Pass

  • September 16, 2013

Our conditioning promotes holding on and taking control to get what we want.  This learned habit inclines us to move away from pain through avoiding, minimizing, denying and finding “short-term fixes.”  Mindfulness teaches how to surrender to the unavoidable pain inherent in life by entering into it, working with it, and finding “long-term integration.”

Our model of control is driven by the delusion of permanence—that life should be fixed in the time frame of comfort and certainty.  The more pain and instability we incur, the more insecure we feel.  We have failed in our desperate attempts to “keep the ducks in a row.”  To compound the angst, we take this personally.  We ourselves are to blame!

We find ourselves often racing against time.  But in truth, this may really be a race from ourselves. If we stop too long to experience the “trail of tears” from what feels lost or broken, we fear we’ll drown.  Rather, it’s these tears that produce the very water needed to sustain yourself through the long haul.  To rid yourself of pain, you need to say drink from it.  When you let in the uninvited guests, they will stay a while then pass through, like boats sailing on the river and floating away.

When you relinquish the need for a sense of security based on a world that never changes and a self that is fixed in time, you accept the inevitable impermanence that life presents.  By meeting the world with acceptance and holding yourself in compassion, you can more easily weather the storm and witness the ever changing nature of things.  You carry the mantra: “All things shall pass,” and take refuge in the paradox: The only thing permanent is impermanence.

The only thing permanent
is impermanence