By Adam J. Pearson
Photography by Rodney Smith
Whenever I’ve made my happiness dependent on anything else or anyone else, I’ve always suffered. No impermanent reality can satisfy a permanent need; placing conditions on our happiness creates permanent needs that an impermanent universe can never satisfy.
If I enjoy what is here while it is here, but keep its impermanence in mind, then I can create much less suffering for myself. The red leaf falls from the autumn tree. I pick it up and marvel at its beauty, but as I do, a gust of wind blows it from my palm. If I do not cling, I do not suffer; the leaf is as impermanent as my own body. My body and the leaf, and the wind, and the awareness in which they are seen are one. I smile and walk away.