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The Death Dhamma Podcast

Jul 21, 2022

What is an easy experience of impermanence, and what is a difficult experience? Any experience can be either of those things and actually neither of those things. With equanimity – it just is.  And that is not me telling you that I can always accept uncertainty and change with equanimity. Because I don’t. I practice at different levels on different days or even throughout the course of any day. I suspect that makes me another human being, living and growing in this time and place and in this lifetime.

Generally, I am grateful for the opportunities that my karma brings me. Even the situations that I view as difficult. I recall when I was processing the deaths of two family members within the same week, more than one of my Buddhist friends told me how great this was for my practice.

Conceptually I knew they were right, but it took lots of time and contemplation to know it at a deeper level.  When they said it to me, I accepted it as a fact, a documented best practice, if you will.

The learning came from time and concentration and living with it. Watching myself being human and feeling the emotions. I had to have the experience. To live firsthand through attachment and aversion.

And it was and still is experiential that draws on compassion and also can lead us to become more compassionate toward others.

I had to extend compassion to myself. And later, as helping others became part of my path, I learned that my experience would help me be compassionate toward others if and only if I accepted that my experience was only representative of how things worked for me on my path.

In the face of impermanence, let’s not forget compassion. Because it really is the balm. (And also the bomb!)