The Noble Truth.

Everything & everyone is impermanent.

All matter is in a constant state of flow.

Many resist this noble truth.

Hiding from its ever casting shadow.

Running to distraction.

Denying impermanence.

 

Resistance is futile.

Resistance is suffering.

Resistance steals joy.

 

The time is now.

To accept this noble truth.

All matter is in a constant state of movement.

 

Now is the time to live.

Now is the time to love that you are alive.

Not fear your impermanence.

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Rock Bottom.

Lungs exhausted.

I’m barely breathing.

Pain deep in my bones.

Heart aching with loneliness.

Stomach twisted into origami.

 

It’s the coldest at the bottom.

Harsh winds.

Thunderous nights.

Misery in every moment.

 

All I want is to feel the cool breeze on a warm spring day.

 

To smile deeply.

To laugh.

Feel joy once more.

 

“Don’t worry!”  my mind tells me.

You have survived all that has come so far.

Darkness will become light.

Thanks to impermanence.

We will laugh, smile, and feel joy once more.

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Lost at Sea.

A ship is lost in the treacherous open sea. The crew grows more impatient each day; the Captain is worried about a potential mutiny. No land in sight. 

 

Will this be the end?

 

My crew goes weary.

Mumbling & arguing with each other.

Constantly chattering.

The smell of mutiny in the air.

 

I observe them from my private charters.

One moment they are angry.

The next they are sad.

Anxious.

Depressed.

Fearful.

 

Will we ever see land again?

 

A large wave swells up from the depths of the ocean.

Panic.

HOLD ON!!!!!

The ship creaks and moans.

We survive.

 

A month goes by.

Food short on supply.

Crew sick and diseased.

Birds of prey circle above us.

 

The end is near.

 

Until one day I see darkness on the horizon.

LAND!!

We are safe.

Joy & tears flow into the sea.

My crew dances under the moonlight.

 

No wave can sink me.

No storm will worry me.

I won’t break to my crew’s demands.

For I am the Captain.

 

 

I am not my thoughts. I am not my emotions. I am the observer. The Captain of my body & mind. I will honor these thoughts & emotions as impermanent. I will not sink into the darkness.

 

 

 

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Time.

What time is it?

I glance at my clock.

The time is now.

 

I must change.

I must grow.

I must let go.

Now.

 

Impermanence.

The constant flow of time.

A seed grows into a tree.

A baby grows into a young adult.

 

Dreams.

Love.

Peace.

Compassion.

Joy.

Now.

 

Breathing in deeply I embrace my impermanence.

Breathing out I feel joy pulsate throughout my body.

I vow to not waste my life.

I vow to live in the now.

For this is not my practice life.

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Mayur “Kumar” Sarhad.

6 years have passed.

Today it feels like 6 seconds.

I pick up the phone.

Shock. Disbelief. Tears.

So unexpected. Tragedy.

The pain of losing a great young man too soon.

 

Tears.

Sadness.

Because your life gave us joy.

 

You taught us that life is impermanent.

You taught us gratitude for every moment alive.

You showed us that life can be taken away at any given moment.

You taught us to not take our friends for granted.

 

Thank you for being an amazing friend.

A second big brother to me.

I could always count on you.

Thank you, Mayur (Kumar) Sarhad.

 

You live on through your brother Veeral.

You live on through your parents.

You live on through your friends.

When we walk, you walk.

When we breathe, you breathe.

When we smile, you smile.

 

Does a cloud die when it turns into rain, ice, or snow? Or can it only transform?

 

Love you bro,

Johnny Hoffman

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Impermanence: The Beauty of Decay, Death, and Transformation.

I know death is a hard topic to discuss. We tend to avoid it out of fear even though we logically know that everything is impermanent. I’m grateful for life and death. There can’t be one without the other. 

You and I will die. The Earth will die. Our Sun will die. Our Solar System will die. The Universe will die.

Well at least in our conventional sense of death….

The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.

If energy can neither be created nor destroyed then we are infinite. The matter that makes up our body has been around since the dawn of the Universe and it will live on for infinity after we die. On a cellular level, we are constantly transforming, with old cells dying and new cells being born every second.

The Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and many other Buddhist teachers talk about the laws of Physics in their discussions about death, life, and impermanence. Impermanence is one of the key principles of Buddhism and many Buddhist’s meditate over their own death. Why not prepare for the inevitable? It’s one of the few things we are guaranteed.

Be grateful for death, without it we wouldn’t be alive. Just think of the approximately 108 Billion people who have lived and died on Earth. The Billions of Dinosaurs that had to die for us to eventually evolve into conscious species. A supernova (death of a star) creating the matter for our Sun, Earth, and Solar system to be created. Without the death of our ancestors, we would not be alive and our death will allow other humans to get a chance at life.

Without death, there is no life.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching’s discussed that there is no birth or death, just transformation. You and I are a transformation of our parent’s DNA, and our bodies are a mixture of elements that have been transformed into a conscious human being. We are not full of human but full of elements like oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen.

Many of us walk around as if we live forever. We all logically know our own death but choose to ignore it. We assume that we will get old and deal with it then even though we could die any minute. This is all a delusion that is motivated by fear. If we fully embrace impermanence today we can live our life full of gratitude, love, and freedom. Without the fear of death, we can fully enjoy life. Freedom from the fear of death is a great feeling, one that I try to cultivate in my meditations.

I know this topic is hard to discuss and I thank you for reading this blog post. My intention is not to be sad or dark, but to bring light to the darkness. To change our perspective on death from one of fear to love and from anger to gratitude. 

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman