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Inner Revolution

While the world appears especially tumultuous at this time, it is always in flux. Through the structures of government, economy, and community, we attempt to create stability. However, these structures never last, as they are subject to the same impermanence we witness in all that exists.

We can see the birth, maturation, decay, and death of bodies all around us: humans, animals, plants, and even formations of stone if we watch long enough. We can watch as the buds on a tree sprout into full foliage, only to have all the leaves drop in autumn, turning the branches bare in winter.

The earth itself goes through cyclic change as it passes through the seasons, going from spring to summer, to fall, to winter, and back again to spring. Everything, including us and all we create, is subject to impermanence.

Through the shifts and changes, we cling in an attempt to stop the movement as we grasp for control. The daily news brings us moment by moment coverage of the struggles out in the world. If we practice mindfulness, we become aware of the struggle within our own mind. When bound by fear and desire, it’s painful. Indeed, we look around and recognize everyone is hurting.

If we stand strong and continue to look, we begin to see our interdependence. We see our fear and desire reflected in everyone else we see. We notice how when we make one movement, it ripples throughout the world. We feel the immense suffering of all sentient beings.

In that moment, we hatch a plan to save the world. We go to war with the intent to end all wars. (We forget that has already been done, and it only created more war.) We dig in our heels, convinced our plan is the correct one. We might even be right, that if only everyone would cooperate much of the suffering would end.

But people are rebellious and continue to fight for control. We all face our own struggles, framed by our individual mental filters within each of our minds. The ever-changing world appears different to everyone, yet we forget this simple truth. By the time we have shown someone our world, it has shifted into something new. And so we run, chasing yesterday’s dreams.

There is another option: release ourselves from the bondage of fear and desire. This is not something we can do as a world; rather it is an inner revolution.

When we stand on top of fear and desire, recognizing their presence without being ruled by them, we can see what is. From this vantage point, it becomes clear what needs to be done and we simply do it for the sake of doing it. The world and all that exists will continue to cycle through endless changes, but we are no longer chasing ideas of how we think it should be. Instead we see what is possible, right now. There’s no clinging, no grasping, no fighting for control. There is only the joy and wonder of unfolding in and as existence itself.

Begin your inner revolution with meditation, and carry the stillness with you into your world. Watch what happens when you let go of fear and desire.
Where will the flow of existence bring you?


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Published inBuddha Lessons / Mindfulness