Change. Everyone’s best friend, right?
Not according to… just about everyone I’ve ever met or ever read. Why do you think the self-help industry and healing industries are so prolific and lucrative? Why do you think we are constantly trying to be better, more explored people? Constantly seeking spiritual growth?
Deep down, at least usually on a deeply unconscious level, we actually want change. And yet, we do everything in our conscious and subconscious powers to avoid change at all costs. We want to believe that things are permanent.
But alas, as the Buddhists say, “The only permanence is impermanence.” And no truer words were ever spoken.
Everything changes. Nothing is permanent. Not you, not me, not your circumstances, not your life, not even that itch on your nose or your depression or your joy.
Sucks, doesn’t it.
So, change and impermanence exists, and our resistance to it exists.
What to do about it?
If you’ve read some of my other articles, you’ll know that I believe that humans are pretty amazing. We have creativity and innovation on our side to create technologies that assist us in our progress. But, we were born with the technology to deal with the perceived awfulness around change.
First, we can surrender and accept.
“What?! I’m not giving up nothing to nobody!!”, is often the response here.
I don’t mean surrender and acceptance in terms of resignation, or “faking it until you make it”, or giving up your agency.
No, these are much deeper, growthful concepts. To surrender is to let go with full knowledge and your own internal blessing. To accept is to be fully aware and to live in the present moment. Totally easy right?
Here’s where the technology comes into play, our Body/Mind system and the power of Mindfulness Meditation to train our Body/Mind system to be able to surrender and accept. Totally NOT easy.
Insight meditation is one way to engage this training. Different from relaxation type meditation, insight (or Vipassana is a well-known form) is training the mind to be aware the arising and falling away, ie, the impermanence of, sensation and reaction within the body. Insight is usually more related to transformation than relaxation, because it’s far from the most relaxing thing you’ll do.
Engaging an in-depth insight meditation practice can be pretty torturous. You’ll come to hate that cushion at times. Probably more often than not. Those are the transition periods. There will be plenty of them. This might seem a bit depressing.
But over time, one learns how to surrender and accept, and transition qua transition, can become a bit easier. And I don’t know about you, but as hard as change may seem, wouldn’t you rather be moving rather than standing still?
(Yeah, it’s okay, I know a part of you would!)