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The Best Gift You Can Give

Posted on 31 Jul 2021

The Best Gift You Can Give

Lama Zangmo writes:

Although we know that things change, deep down we tend to think there are some things that will be lasting and stable in life. But now that the whole planet has been turned upside down because of the virus, it should be an eye opener for us all. It ought to make us prioritise and get our values right.

It is important to contemplate impermanence because otherwise, when drastic changes do happen, such as when somebody close to us dies or gets ill, then we suffer greatly and we are less capable of being a support for them.

If we have spent time familiarising ourselves with impermanence, then we will be more prepared and better able to deal with the situation. It would not be such a shock when we are separated from our loved ones, our partner, our parents, because we would understand that everything changes, and that everyone has to die. We would really have accepted that fact. Deep down we would know that this is how things are.

When you contemplate impermanence, you consider how you spend your time and whether you are incorporating the teachings into your present way of living. Your values change and you make a resolution not to waste your precious life.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the trivial things. So much time is spent working to accumulate possessions that we can’t take with us when we die, and we often don’t have time to enjoy them even when we are alive. It’s important to find a balance in our life. We should make sure that we spend our time and efforts on things that are worthwhile and have long term benefit, both for our own mental stability and for that of everyone around us.

I think the best gift you can give your loved ones is your own peace of mind. If you are happy, that makes them happy. People who care about you, want you to be happy. If you are chasing after things for their sake, but it makes you unhappy in the process, then this will only create suffering for everyone.

Generally, our problems are caused by our grasping and our aversion to all these changing and impermanent things and conditions. So when we really accept change, when it sinks in that there is not a single thing that we won’t be separated from, not a single thing that we can hold on to, then our attachments and aversions automatically decrease. When we know that things come and go, we don’t take loss or gain quite so seriously anymore, but we know that it is really important to make the most of the precious time that we have right now and to get our priorities right.