Skip to content

Instability and Support

[January 2024 – Dharma Center Mindfulness Tip] 

We crave stability and security. Our mind creates an artificial sense of security by manufacturing the illusion that how we currently perceive the world is how it’s always been. Yet we know our world and our perception are inherently unstable. We and everything around us is constantly changing. Even the planet is spinning and twirling around the sun, while the sun swirls through our galaxy, and our galaxy is tumbling through the vastness of space – along with everything else. Nothing remains the same. Although we know every physical and mental object is in flux, we want stability. It’s the one thing we can never have. In our temper-tantrum of desire, we miss what we do have: the inherent support of this elegant system.

This magnificent planet Earth supports life of all kinds, including our human existence. This precious human body supports our mind, providing a vehicle in which we can experience the infinite states of being. We don’t need to do anything to engender this support; it simply is.

Yet we clench up with anxiety and mistrust of this support. We stand like a bird with its wings outstretched, unwilling to put our full weight on the branch. The changing leaves falling to the ground serve as proof of the instability around us. Our wings grow tired and we eventually collapse, and the support of the branch holds us without expectation of anything in return. But once we realize we have collapsed, the tension and fear returns and we go back to holding our wings out, ready to catch ourselves. It’s exhausting.

Image by Shauna Fletcher from Pixabay

If we accept the transitory nature of life, we can embrace the falling the leaves as part of the glorious play of existence. We can also appreciate and utilize the support we find throughout the many aspects of our day.

When it is time to rest, we can lay our full weight on our bed, allowing the Earth to support our body. When it is time to move, we can relax into the support of our body as it carries us through this world. We can look to the structures we interact with and seek the support they offer, without expecting them to remain stationary. Instead, we find we are able to find balance by moving into alignment with these supportive structures. Like a pair of shoes, if one doesn’t fit, we can release it and make room for one that does.

As we discover the structures that provide support, we give back our gratitude. Every night, we take a moment to thank the Earth for holding us. Perhaps we plant a tree or water our plants as a physical token of gratitude. Every morning, we thank our body for carrying us. We feed our body good food in appreciation for all it does. When we find a spiritual community that offers support in alignment with our Path, we give back with money, time, and attention to ensure the community and our connection to it remains strong.

We do these things knowing the planet, our bodies, and our spiritual communities will continue to shift and change. By performing these acts of gratitude, we bolster our connection to our supports and thus make it easier to maintain our balance in this transitory world.

If you are reading this, then you are welcome to find support as part of the Dharma Center of Trikaya Buddhism community. Join us for classes all week and for our next community meeting, where we provide the resources Dharma Center requires so it can continue to support us.

Published inBuddha Lessons / Mindfulness