Everything is changing, life is continually transforming, moving, being born, dying. There is nothing in this universe that is not subject to change. This is one thing we can all agree on, life is change. The constant remembering of change is also the most important meditative contemplation in the Yogic and Buddhist traditions.
So if we all see and agree that everything is changing all around and inside of us all the time, why are we in such anxiety when suddenly there is a lot of change happening like now in the current situation of the planet?
Why if we all can see so clearly that nothing stays the same, and everything must change do we grasp disparately to keep things in our control and stay the same? Does this really help us be happy and free, the need to control life?
How can we embrace change and flow with it, finding creative joy at the new possibilities that change can present, rather than freaking out when all that we know is falling apart before our eyes and the new vision of the future has not yet been born?
The real issue
To embrace change in this positive way, we have to see what the mechanism is that causes us to feel such anxiety when things are moving so fast and we cannot predict the outcome.
The real issue at the bottom of the anxiety we feel when things are changing has to do with our need to control the future. This is a part of our survival brain that has developed in us to create some feeling that we can avoid suffering by anticipating all the negative outcomes of a future event. This part of us is like a soldier that is always on guard to avoid anything that might threaten the kingdom. So our feeling of insecurity in the face of change is a natural part of our mind, nothing is wrong with us for feeling this. But when we only listen to this voice of fear then we are in trouble and are limited in our capacity to respond creatively to the circumstance.
Life depends on change
We can overcome this suffering of clinging to our fixed notions and fear of change by opening our minds to the endless creativity that is born by the universe's constant moving and change. If things stopped changing the whole universe would be dead. Life depends on change, without change we are dead. But this is really a psychological death because if our body really dies it is also subject to change and will go back to the earth where it came from. Our situation when we are too fixated on things and not willing to flow with the circumstance is like being half alive. You can see this as people get older they either start boxing up their lives and get more and more closed-minded or they become like little children again full of wonder and a deep sense of letting go into the process of ageing.
Tibetan Buddhist masters make impermanence their main meditation as this was the main teaching of the Buddha. Our teachers in this lineage say that if we see that impermanence is a natural part of life and let that really sink into our bones, we will be much lighter and free from fear. The advice from the Buddha was that by meditating every day on impermanence we sharpen our minds to the truth and we also uncover our “dharma” or life path and stop wasting our precious time on useless things. The embracing of change is a master key to light the way to our own true self and realize the awakened one within.
Steps to help us embrace change:
There are some steps we can make to help us embrace change:
1. Recognize with deep insight and contemplation that creativity and life itself depends on change. This is part of being alive. Make this contemplation on impermanence a meditation that you do actively every day.
2. Actively embrace change by seeing it as an opportunity to grow and find new and beautiful ways to flow with new circumstances.
3. Let go of the need to control life and instead go with the flow. Enjoy the process of letting go into the unknown like an exciting adventure!
4. Tell your inner solder who is trying to save you from suffering in the future to stay on guard when needed. If a real problem needs solving at the moment you will call her to find a solution.
Take responsibility for your inner peace
So it is up to us to work with our own minds. If we fall into the collective fears that are around us every day boosted and exaggerated by the mainstream media and the social media that can decimate false news, will fall into deeper and deeper fear and depression. We must take responsibility for our inner peace by not letting the collective fear and our own projections destroy our ability to remain joyful and creative when so many things around us are out of our control. The world is in a turning point, either follow our fears or embrace the possibilities to make a new and better world! Changing politicians and policies won’t work if we don’t change ourselves.
So in the words of the great mystic and yogi Meher Baba: “Don’t worry, be happy” and the words of an unknown yogi "relax, nothing is in your control".