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We all logically know that things in this world come and go in the blink of an eye, but I suspect we don’t really understand this until we reach a certain age.

Before this, we pass our lives unaware of the importance of each day and the preciousness of each encounter, foolishly thinking we’ll always have another opportunity to learn this, see that, or spend time with someone again.

Once, a monk who was frustrated with his lack of spiritual progress said to Zen master Dōgen (1200-53), “Many years have passed since I set my heart upon learning the Way. Why haven’t I experienced even the slightest awakening?”

Dōgen answered, “It’s a question of whether your aspiration is earnest or not, and it won’t be unless you experience first hand the impermanence of this world.”

I hope that in light of this impermanence we all gain a greater appreciation for each member of our family, each event in our daily life, and our encounters with the many people we meet at the Dharma center.

Nikkyo Niwano

Kaisozuikan (Kosei Publishing Co.) p.274-275

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