Unless you are a yogi like Milarepa you should definitely plan and prepare as if you are going to live another 50 or 70 years or whatever; you should plan that way. But in you, you really should know that that might not be the case. And not only that, we should not only think of our impermanence, but also everything else. Any kind of situation, you name it, everything is impermanent. That way it is about everything.
So how do we handle this? I say take a deep breath and take it easy. The most important thing is to do your best with every moment of your life. Be good, sincere, kind, honest and hard working. If you are meditating, meditate well, if you are doing something, do it well. Do your best in every moment. That is how to take care of the understanding of impermanence. If you just sit there and worry that you might die in the next hour, that’s not the best use of the understanding of impermanence. Make the best out of your lives, even if you are going to die in the next hour you will not have any regret if you have done your best. That is how to handle it.
– Tai Situ Rinpoche
from the book “Essential Teachings of Gampopa”
ISBN: 978-1877294532 – https://amzn.to/14Uz9aE
Wisdom is the clear seeing of the impermanent, conditioned nature of all phenomena, knowing that whatever arises has the nature to cease. When we see this impermanence deeply, we no longer cling; and when we no longer cling, we come to the end of suffering.
If there is right, there must be wrong.
Wisdom and ignorance are complementary,
And illusion and enlightenment cannot be separated.
This is an old truth, don’t think it was discovered recently.
“I want this, I want that”
Is nothing but foolishness.
I’ll tell you a secret –
All things are impermanent!
from the book “One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan”
Where there is beauty, there is ugliness.
When something is right, something else is wrong.
Knowledge and ignorance depend on each other.
It has been like this since the beginning.
How could it be otherwise now?
Wanting to toss out one and hold onto the other makes for a ridiculous comedy.
You must still deal with everything ever-changing, even when you say it’s wonderful.
quoted in the book “Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing”
Think about death and impermanence for a long time.
Once you are certain that you are going to die, you will no longer find it hard to put aside harmful actions, nor difficult to do what is right.
After that, meditate for a long time on love and compassion.
Once love fills your heart you will no longer find it hard to act for the benefit of others.
Then meditate for a long time on emptiness, the natural state of all phenomena. Once you fully understand emptiness, you will no longer find it hard to dispel all your delusions.
~ Geshe Potowa
“It has been said that the highest wisdom lies in detachment, or, in the words of Chung-Tzu, ‘The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror; it grasps nothing; it refuses nothing; it receives, but does not keep.’
Detachment means to have neither regrets for the past nor fears for the future; to let life take its course without attempting to interfere with its movement and change, neither trying to prolong the stay of something pleasant nor to hasten the departure of things unpleasant. To do this is to move in time with life, to be in perfect accord with its changing music, and this is called Enlightenment.
In short, it is to be detached from both the past and future and to live in the eternal Now. For in truth neither past nor future have any existence apart from this Now; by themselves they are illusions. Life exists only at this very moment…
You may believe yourself out of harmony with life and its eternal Now; but you cannot be, for you are life and exist Now—otherwise you would not be here. Hence the infinite Tao is something which you can neither escape by flight nor catch by pursuit; there is no coming toward it or going away from it; it is, and you are it. So become what you are.”
Therefore, the very impermanency of grass and tree, thicket and forest is the Buddha nature. The very impermanency of men and things, body and mind, is the Buddha nature. Nature and lands, mountains and rivers, are impermanent because they are the Buddha nature. Supreme and complete enlightenment, because it is impermanent, is the Buddha nature.
– Dogen Zenji