The Dalai Lama reminds us that unhappiness (a.k.a. suffering) stems from viewing things that are transient as permanent. How many times have I (have you) heard this truism and nodded in agreement? How many times have I passed it on to others by way of sage advice? Deep down, as I sit still and reflect on my habitual thinking, I pretty much act as if I’d never heard of this. When things go well, I feel happy (albeit with suspicion hovering nearby, muttering that “this won’t last”). When things don’t go well—when they unfold contrary to my expectation—my small self (ego) feels somehow vindicated (“the world is a cruel place … X doesn’t like me … and I’ll never be happy … etc.”).
Always this or that, good or bad, happy or unhappy, up or down in the bloody rollercoaster of everyday living. Yet therein lies the wisdom: things do go up and down, from here to there, from desired to unexpected. They never (drum roll) stay the same. Nothing lasts. Everything changes. It’s a fundamental law of human experience and nature’s unfolding. Why is that so hard to comprehend?