“Changes” by Lynn Seiser from aikiweb.com

“Several years ago an Aikido Sensei* told me a story about his Zen master. When the old man was on his death bed, the Shanga (community) gathered to ask what would become of them. The old man, smiled, laughed, and simply said, “Changes, changes, changes.”

As a Buddhist we contemplate the impermanence of existence. Suffering comes from ignorance and attachment. We become identified and attached because we believe (in ignorance) that all the events in this fleeting life are stable and permanent. By accepting that things change, it is easier to let go of one event or moment and move onto another.

Alan Watts, one of the first philosophers to bring Buddhism to the United States, wrote a book call The Wisdom of Insecurity. In it he states that most of us feel insecure because we think the world is constant and stable, permanent. Yet, we all know that the only constant in life is change. Our mental map does not match reality. Therefore, there is wisdom to our feeling insecure. Once we accept that things change and that we will feel insecure, the mental map now matches reality, and we actually don’t feel so insecure. We are no longer identified and attached to our own internal fantasies about ourselves, others, and life. We are open to accept what is, what was, and what will be.”

Please click here to read entire article. “Changes” by Lynn Seiser


  1. bruce baker says:

    We all need anchors in our mind, in our life. To envision and understand the things we fear, or things we don’t understand, We need to maintain some delusion so that we have security and overcome our fears, to some degree. It is good to know we have fears, and to keep them in check as they keep our mind open to danger, but some people go overboard to total delusion in that they think they are entirely safe in embracing certain thoughts, certain actions, certain principles that will cause extreme delusion of either safety, or it’s opposite end of the spectrum … danger.

    Somewhere in the middle …. is where one finds balance, maintains an awareness of change, and is able to adapt to change is where we should all be heading for as a goal for putting our mind at ease, our life in balance, and becoming a fully functional human being participating in life.

    All the mental and physical exercises are aimed at creating an awareness of the positive and negative forces at work in the world around us so we can find our balance where we can function and understand that world.

    It just might take some walls of delusion to feel safe enough to bring the destructive dangersous negatives into perspective with the positive, but that is just the way it goes. Changes brought us to where we are now, and changes will take us someplace else in the future.

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