I went to receive one of my regular five element acupuncture treatments today, which has been a great blessing in my life over the last year. My acupuncturist studied with Dr. Worsley, and is an excellent practitioner – going straight to the root right away. When I came in for the session, she told me that they are closing the office and she is leaving town. It was quite a reminder of impermanence. When I first came to the office, and even this summer, it was going extremely well and expanding. This December, I was told that they had lost large sums of money due to illegal activities by their office manager. And last week, which may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, my acupuncturist was in a serious car accident. And now, many people are laid off (10+) and many clients have lost their therapists.
It seems that loss is a theme today, as I just heard that some friends of ours – who have spent five years and innumerable hours of hard work on a very innovative strawbale building, lost their house to fire, just before they were ready to move in (one wall had not been plastered yet, so was still a fire hazard).
This is of course how life is. Everything is an expression of one seamless process, always in flux, always changing, always new, fresh and different.
This becomes even more obvious through sitting practice where we see clearly that no experiences last – they all come and go on their own. Becoming familiar and comfortable with this small-scale death and rebirth allows us to be a little more prepared for the big losses in our life. We have learned to relate to it on a small, everyday, scale, and can to some extent transfer this to larger and apparently more serious situations.
Realizing impermanence in our own immediate experience gives us a nudge to notice that which is not changing – the context of all this, the groundless ground. Emptiness forming itself into all the myriad forms.
There is no lasting comfort to find anywhere in the world of form, including in identifying ourselves with any part of this moving process. The only “ground” we can find is in the groundless ground everything arises from, within and as.