Saturday, September 11, 2010

In the Midst of Anicca

In a personal letter written during a trip to Great Britain, a friend writes:

This is a "champagne" trip. You may remember that Jillie and I have a tradition, we celebrate great occasions with champagne as everyone does but more importantly we celebrate bad days, setbacks, adversities & heartaches with champagne too. The idea is that if we can drink champagne -- especially if we can drink it together -- then it can't be so so so terrible. We use the champagne to celebrate how great our life has been & how lucky we are to be together -- so that the bad times...are being faced alive & together.

The occasion for the trip, you see, was a death in the family.

Anicca means impermanence, and here we see a couple who recognize that everything is changing. Actually, anicca is an illusion: everything is not changing; it only looks that way because we think things are things.


There is great wisdom and happiness in this recognition that bad times pass, as do good times. This couple has been together for many years, longer than most marriages last, and they have a little ritual to help them return to appreciation for life in the midst of impermanence.

Adopting such a habit, with or without alcoholic beverages, really helps.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

Thanks for this. A wonderful example. Your friends are both smart and fortunate. Bows to them.