Meditation: The Impermanence Of Sunset Blvd

(Note: I have to admit. Sometimes when I come out of a meditation with what I think to be some profound insight, when I start to write it down, I realize that while the insight is profound, the message is incredibly simple and kind of obvious. This morning’s meditation on attachment was one such meditation.)

If you’ve had the chance to drive down Sunset Blvd in Hollywood or West Hollywood lately (or for that matter in the last 20+ years), you have probably had the opportunity to see what is supposed to make people happy. Fancy cars, luxurious houses, an invitation to the latest and hippest club, the hottest guy or girl on your arm, and a “nice” watch to match your perfectly cut suit. I, of course, say this tongue in cheek.

That said, let’s face it, we live in a hyper-media-crazed-advertising-frenzied world that if you aren’t mindful of where your center is, you might find it stuck up on some Calvin Klein billboard. The intention of my morning writing avec meditation was to pull my own butt down from that way too revealing sign.

On the page it became clear just how attached I am to the material. Relationships, friends, clothes, heck even the kind of food my dog eats. What was surprising to me, however, was to find out one of the main reasons why: the perception of permanence. In a flash it hit me.

Side note: Without too much detail, I grew up in a home that shifted quite considerably from an early as. As a result, I never got enough of an opportunity to consciously unearth that helpful resource known as a solid and secure relationship with oneself. To that end, the need to control the outsides (and the belief that I could) became paramount to any sort of conscious internal connection. In my late 20’s and early 30’s that all shifted and the roles reversed.

The key to the message is the word perception. From the page:

“I don’t like to feel alone and for some reason using things that I can actually see and touch makes me feel less alone than with You (Spirit) and my feelings because they appear temporary and the material things permanent.”

Now for any rational person, the idea that even those things made out of titanium are permanent is a misconception (just ask the villagers in Japan after yesterday’s quake). I think that the biggest issue for me is dealing with the “reality” that everything is impermanent, whether I like it or not (and not liking it is another story that gets to be dealt with in a whole other way).

Meditation is the practice that helps me to gently and lovingly deal with the impermanence of all of it. Both the outsides and the insides. And yes, the cliche is correct: the only thing constant in life is change. By working with my unconscious, forming a relationship with my internal environment, and learning to let go, let go, and let go, my experience of my day to day world also shifts as I become more miraculously willing to let go…even when I drive down Sunset Blvd.

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  1. Bill says:

    This article reminds me of a quote that I often read before meditation:

    “There is no point in clinging to our possessions, because wealth acquires meaning only when it is given away or used to benefit others. Since without any choice we will have to part with all our possessions when we die, it is better to part with them now and thereby derive some benefit from having owned them.” -Gehse Kelsang Gyatso

    I’m not saying that I’m about to give all my family’s possessions away (however liberating this may be) but I have noticed the pure joy that arises inside me when I do have the opportunity to pass items on to friends, family and virtual strangers that can still find immediate use for such things.