As I look out my kitchen window the sun is shining and a slight breeze stirs the leaves on the maple tree. The view is the same as last week and even last month. Few changes. Obviously this view is imperfect. In reality the earth is rotating on its axis at a speed over 1,000 mph at the Equator while the planet is soaring through space over 66,000 mph as it revolves around the sun. My kitchen window point of view is limited. Earth has moved over 11,000,00 miles since last week and 3.3 billion miles during the month. I am simply not aware of the change because of my limits.

We plot the passage of time by our favorite TV shows, TGIF celebrations and golf outings. Then one day another milestone confronts us. We have a birthday that sends us into a new decade. We lose a loved one unexpectedly and wish we could see her one more time so we could tell her how much we enjoyed her company. We are forced to make a radical change in our perceptions.

This is due to our microscopic view of life and who we really are. We prefer to pretend we are physical beings who will last forever once science and medicine figure out the correct DNA sequence that will catapult us into eternal physical life. Another part is our cultural background which views our world as an economic machine focused on being happy by possessing material goods. Clinging to the material world sets us up for undesirable experiences.

We hear people say we should be grounded; but grounded in what? The best answer I’ve found is groundlessness. We must learn to accept life’s changes as they occur, even when the change hurts or threatens to disrupt our lives, by focusing on the present. If you are interested in pursuing this idea further I recommend Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chodron. It’s a Buddhist approach using meditation but is written for non-Buddhists.

Final thought: We are spiritual beings experiencing life through physical bodies. Only our spirit, our soul, is eternal.

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