The Mindfulness Blog

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Since I Lost My Baby

love The Temptations and am particularly fond of this particular song. And to think: It might never have been written if the lyricist, or the singers, weren't so attached to the subject of the song.

Holding on to people, places or things we cherish is a natural instinct, but it never seems to work out quite the way we intend. As the old saying goes: The only thing certain in life, is change. Circumstances change. Feelings change. Everything changes-- except the seductive illusion that nothing will change.

Originally referred to as anicca by the Buddha, the notion of impermanence figures prominently in many different philosophies. But you don't have to be a philosopher to understand the concept  -- it's all around us, and it's easy to comprehend. That said, it's also hard to accept-- just ask The Temptations.

So, how can we deal with an idea we're disinclined to accept? The only way I'm aware of is to practice, and the practice I find most helpful, is meditation. It's natural enough for us to attach some degree of permanence to people, places and things we're attracted to, but meditation teaches us to both savor the things we're attached to, then let them pass, rather than cling to them or try to hold on.

Stated another way, we can't lose anything we never really had. That's not to minimize the importance of the people. places or things in our lives-- they'll always be precious, but they're really not "ours".

Gifts are fortuitous and intended to be accepted/cared for, but not owned.


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