29 Jan
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Nothing Lasts Forever

The last link in the chain of Dependent Co-Arising is jaramarana, usually translated as “aging and death.” That which arises, passes away. That which is born…dies.

This is not meant to be morbid. Or depressing. It’s just the way it is. And not only for our physical being. When we identify strongly (take “birth” in) a particular state of being, we set ourselves up for the inevitable sense of loss that comes when things change.

So what to do?

Christina Feldman says, “What’s important to remember is that none of this is predetermined. Just like the climate for snow, the presence of certain of these links is going to allow other experiences to happen. Not that they must happen, or definitely will happen, but they allow for certain experiences to happen.”

She describes the Third Noble Truth (that there is an end to suffering) as a “portrayal of the way in which it is possible to step off a sense of being bound to this wheel of samsara or to the links of dependent origination. It is significant to remember that it doesn’t have to be any one link that we step off of, or that there is only one place where we can get out of the maze. In fact, we can step out of the maze and into something else at any one of these links.”

Jaramarana is also translated as “aging and dying, grief, sorrow, suffering, lamentation and despair.” Whew. For the DPP homework, I think I’m going to keep it simple: “death.”

(image: Buddha Tarot)

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