Sitting in my chair and looking out the window, the light over the valley is so beautiful that I want to grasp it, hold it, make it last. But staying open and ungrasping to fleeting beauty is an invitation to the Way. Even so, perhaps it’s inevitable to feel the yearning wistfulness for it all.
In our day-to-day lives we probably don’t give much thought to the impermanence of things. That the mundane moments don’t persist doesn’t usually give us pause. But when we’re struck by beauty we can’t help but notice its transient nature because we want to keep it and we can’t.
To let it pass AND to enjoy it seems to be an unbearable paradox. But the simultaneous presence of both engenders a poignant sense of the Truth of Things.
The Japanese have a name for this: “mono no aware” – the pathos of things. The bittersweet recognition of annica (impermanence) and dukkha (unsatisfactoriness).
Japanese Zen Buddhism was among my earliest spiritual influences. So beautifully woven as it is with Japanese aesthetics. And as I look over this sun-dappled valley I’m struck by the zen of this. The raw is-ness. Tathata. Suchness.
This suchness can’t be grasped. Only witnessed.
The sages point to this already perfect moment as the living truth. The alpha and omega of all spiritual pursuits. This is it. And not ‘the moment’ as some abstraction or future attainment. This moment, this very moment.
So — ta-da!
You’ve made it. Here it is. This is it. Well done.
Enjoy the sunrise.