If any of you are like me, you don’t like change. Actually, the Yoga Tradition says that no one really likes change because it reminds us of the ultimate change—death. At that moment of change, we change from a physical/mental/spiritual unit into a mental/spiritual unit or a pure spirit.
In any case, this is the season of change. In fact, science confirms what yoga says and teaches, “All of reality is change.” Quantum Physics agrees. Nature shows us that as we watch the trees change their colors at this time of year. Summer is coming to a close. The children are returning to school. Football season is opening up.
Everything changes. And here we are as people who don’t like that to happen, unless we are prepared for it. Surprise changes are not nice for us because all of us long to keep ourselves living in a patterned way that is predictable. When the change is not what we are prepared for or expecting, the change (much like the experience people are having in Texas because of Hurricane Harvey) becomes absolutely painful.
Therefore, in order not to suffer, we must live life prepared for change. We can’t always prepare for the exact change we want. But even when we do experience the change we want, it really is not quite what we had expected. There is always some painfully unexpected aspect within each expected change.
A few examples might help: a couple looks forward to marriage and living together for the rest of their lives and they never expected the impact of a car accident making one or the other paralyzed for life; or a child is prepared to meet all the new students in his or her class in the new school year never expecting that one of the new classmates is not very friendly toward the other classmates; or one looks forward to the yoga class with a favorite teacher and doesn’t expect that one of the simplest postures starts one remembering a painful experience and begins to cry.
We can never control change. It just happens.
So, it bodes us well to not prepare for any specific changes or even to look forward to the upcoming changes but to constantly realize that all of reality is changing and we need to prepare for constant change ALL THE TIME. I know of no other way of learning to prepare for constant change THAN to sit in meditation and watch my mind constantly moving from one thought to another, and feel my body experience one emotion after another, and watch my breath move in and out through my nostrils.
When I do this, I move into my day with a peace that surpasses all the discomforts of the changes that will come.
I then begin to love change and not fear it. I begin to experience happiness rather than suffering. A silent voice inside says, “Alleluia!”
May you also experience this “Alleluia!”