I don’t like it when the clocks change. It doesn’t feel natural to me.
I do love thinking about that liminal line that spans the turning earth at all times, rolling everything up in the tide of darkness on one end and spilling it back into light on the other.
The progression of that line is constant, so I resist arbitrarily tinkering with the clocks–and our circadian rhythms–every six months.
However, I do relish this time of year, when the transition from Autumn to Winter brings forth a host of scents and sensations that evoke deep currents of memory.
It’s getting darker and colder. There’s a quickening. Brilliant flashing reds and yellows yield to brown and gray.
It’s a poignant time of year. The world around us is turning inward. Metaphorically and literally we are entering a time of darkness. And with it, the opportunity for reflection.
A Meditation On Impermanence
And that’s why I was so happy to discover this short video from Headspace–the meditation app–highlighting Japan’s 72 micro seasons.
This meditation on impermanence captures that sense of poignant ever-changing connection to the passing of our planet through time. Even as we apprehend the beauty around us, it’s already changing and slipping away.
Buddha taught that one of the three marks of existence is that everything is impermanent and subject to birth, suffering, and decay. Everything is constantly changing, passing away, and emerging in new forms.
In this world of constant change, according to Siddhartha Gautama, holding on and resisting impermanence is the great source of our suffering.
Whether it’s things, people, moments, or the stories we tell ourselves about our own lives, we tend to hold on tight.
Attending To Our World
One of the antidotes to this kind of suffering is mindfulness–attending to our world right now, as it is, with the generosity of our full attention.
In this, we find that our uncontrived connection to Life is primary, rich, and healing. Something that we intimately share with every living being on the planet.
And instead of grasping and holding on, we attend to the full range of our inner and outer experience in each moment. The subtle stream of sensation, information, connection, and dare I say love, that is pouring through our sense gates all the time.
Breaking The Spell of Disenchantment
In this way, mindfulness can both help us loosen our grasp on things that we’ll never be able to hold on to. And at the same time, break the deep spell of alienation, disenchantment, separation, and hyper individuality that afflicts us today.
It can restore our faith in our common heritage as vehicles for Life unfolding through our experience right now and in every moment.
I feel like this video captures that posture of mindfully attending to our world. Loving it as it is and bearing witness to the earthly and cosmological systems that give us life.
Ultimately, I think of mindfulness as an active stand of praise and gratitude.
I’d love to know what you think and if you find this video as enchanting as I do.