“If you don’t like where you are, then MOVE….you are not a tree.”

“Suzuki Roshi, I’ve been listening to your lectures for years,” a student said during the question and answer time following a lecture, “but I just don’t understand. Could you just please put it in a nutshell? Can you reduce Buddhism to one phrase?”

Everyone laughed. Suzuki laughed.

“Everything changes,” he said. Then he asked for another question.


One of the foremost teachings in Buddhism is that everything in life is impermanent.  Knowing this truth, we can change our circumstances anytime, no matter where we are, no matter what is happening to us.  How?  By changing our thoughts about the situation.  🙂

“Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.”   Thich Nhat Hanh

28 thoughts on “Impermanence

  1. I think once you truly grasp the truth of impermanence, Karen, you begin to slowly let go of wanting to control everything.

  2. You have hit upon one of the hardest teachings I have had to absorb. I used to beg for permanence–bargain with God. Please don’t take my dad yet, I’m not ready. Please don’t make me have to move. Please keep my marriage intact. And to each, God lovingly made me follow the plan I had agreed to before ever coming into this life. Guess what? It’s full of change:). Great post!

    1. I think this is the hardest teaching in life Kristine, and every time I meet a mum or dad whose child has died, I know this is not what they ever want to hear. Your thoughts are universal and once we can accept this truth, life does seem easier. Thankyou 💚💚

    1. It is a great quote! And it reminded me that at anytime, I can move out of my thoughts and change my situation. Thankyou for stopping by, you are always welcome. 💚

  3. That realization (that I could change where I was) came to me in a single moment like an epiphany and, even though acting on that thought took two and a half years of angst, it was an empowering moment.

  4. Your opening quote really opened my eyes as to its simplicity ~ “If you don’t like where you are, then MOVE….you are not a tree.” Why is it that we fear change to such an extent that we often accept a bad situation without understanding the relative ease of a move. Wonderful post and reminder Karen ~ perfect advice/philosophy that is essential in life.

    1. I believe it is fear that stops us, but once we trust there is so much more beyond our fear or even hope there is, that is the moment we really start to live. Always lovely to hear from you Randall and read your comments. Have a great weekend.

      1. Yes indeed, I really do think that once we break through the fear there is this vastness created in our lives where we feel almost anything is possible.

  5. Gosh, I always thought the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus was a doing pretty well with his aphorism, “Everything is in flux.” Suzuki Roshi outdid him by two whole words!

  6. Love this reminder Karen! It starts with intellectual understanding that I know took me many years to embrace in life.
    Even then as recovering controlaholic, its tough some days 😉
    I hope all is well with you. xo

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