#Karmapa: everything is change.
We need to absorb and make sense of the fact that everything is in flux. This change is the productivity that we are supposed to gain, whether we are on a physical or mental journey. We have to come to understand that everything is change. Everything is, in fact, truly impermanent. In some way, at least, we have seen it; we might not be able to pinpoint exactly how we saw it, but we got a sense and a taste of it, which is the main thing.
That is why I think the teaching of the Buddha, when he says ‘all compounded phenomena are impermanent’, is relevant when we recite Refuge; when we practice our breathing meditation or exercise; when we practice Chenrezig; or when we help someone by offering them a glass of water or a helping hand.
It can cover all angles, all aspects of life, whether we practice or do something as simple as brushing our teeth, which we usually view as a repetitive daily process or habit. However, these activities too are meaningful, because they all have the potential to lead us to the recognition that ‘everything is change, everything is impermanent’.
All compounded things, in this case means everything within samsara and everything within nirvana. Samsaric things are mostly the things that we have known so far; nirvanic things refer to the practice of Chenrezig, compassion, wisdom, meditation, and so on.
To know someone, start with their sense of humor
When we have different people from different regions, different countries, the first thing that we must learn is, of course, the pleasantries. But, for me, I always thought that the best way to learn another country’s language is by learning their way of thinking, their culture, but most of all their humor, and how they understand their humor. Because I think their humor is really based on how they see things. It really depends on their perspective of life. So learning their humor, I think is probably the first step. So in language classes in schools, perhaps one of the first things should be about learning other countries’ humor!