The truth of impermanence is one of the Three Universal Characteristics. Understanding that nothing lasts forever is not an entirely difficult task – living with the truth of impermanence can often feel like an unbearable feat.
I think people best understand the how bittersweet impermanence can be when they have to say good-bye. Currently, I am facing two terribly difficult, but necessary good-byes.
In less than a month, I will bid my teacher, Su T. farewell as he begins his journey to a foreign land. In the short time that I have known my teacher, I have learned priceless lessons that have made me into a better person. Not only have I expanded my knowledge of Buddhism through Su T., I have gained a moral compass and a spiritual friend.
In a somewhat ironic set of events, I will also say good-bye to my own students. For the past few months, I have been working as a tutor. However, I have been accepted for an internship and, as a result, can no longer continue working at my current employment. Although I haven’t worked there all that long, the good-bye will still be a difficult one for me. There have been several students that have taught me how to be more patient, understanding, and compassionate. There are others that make me laugh and some that truly make me excited to see what the future generation will deliver.
Impermanence is not an easy truth to embrace, but denying it altogether will only cause more suffering. Instead of fighting the inevitably of impermanence, take the time to savor every moment.