Three Marks of Existence

Let me begin by saying that 2020 on both a personal and global level has been a kick in the lady bits.  I’m intimately acquainted with every knockdown plaster pattern in my home. My dining room table is my home office and I’m constantly subjected to felines walking all over my work laptop. I can’t recall the last meal I had in a restaurant and who knows when I will ever have fun again.

That’s just small potatoes.  So far in 2020 I have also:

  1. Changed jobs;
  2. Visited a hematologist for ongoing pursuit of weird lab results (and a very dramatic fainting episode);
  3. And lost a friendship due to the revelations of toxic humanity in the midst of a global pandemic.

Add to the mix the complications of living in America – a country that is figuratively on life support. Politically, racially, and socioeconomically.  The stakes have never been higher for Americans and I can’t help but reflect on the Buddha’s three marks of existence:

3 Marks

I’m a strange bird, but I can’t help but find comfort in these truths.  We are experiencing global suffering, minute-by-minute instability, and a desperate plea for humans to remember our collective humanity.  These principles remind me of the fragility of life, and then I feel gratitude for what I do have: shelter, access to healthcare, family and friends that share values that benefit everyone, not just a select few.

Gratitude; however, is only one part of the equation.  I also feel called to action.  The actions I take primarily consist of using my voice, composing thoughts, staying at home (don’t be a #covidiot), and remembering that wearing a mask isn’t just for myself.

It’s also pushing back against the widespread distribution of misinformation in a “post truth” world.  Allowing myself to feel heartache over the loss of another black man and remembering the words of Hillel:

“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.”

Suffering. Impermanence. Connectedness.

May we only know the suffering that comes naturally with life, not the kind manufactured by ignorance, intolerance, and folly.

May impermanence move us toward kindness.

May we remember that each of our actions are interconnected; therefore, it is in society’s best interest to support science, health, and tolerance.




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