HeArt Circle On Impermanence

Posted by Trupti Pandya on Mar 3, 2018
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We just completed another HeArt circle. In such a circle, after an hour of silence, we share a theme and people reflect on the theme through various forms of art. Then we close with a short circle of sharing.

This month's theme was "Impermanence". It was an opportunity for all of us to take a pause and reflect on what would be our design principle if we know that we are doing to die. In spite of knowing that each one of us has come on this earth with a temporary visa, we tend to keep things for tomorrow, next month and even next year be it saying thank, asking for an apology or paying our pending bills. To dive deeper into this conversation, we read a passage and spent our next hour expressing our relationship to impermanence.

The circle was filled with many profound shares.

In the sharing circle, one of the participants shared a story from Steve Jobs commencement address at Stanford, where he was falsely diagnosed with terminal cancer: “My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes. I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy. The doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now. This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades.”

And the participant concluded: "Can we make our every day such as if it was our last day without going through life-threatening encounters?”

Another participant who was meticulously filling up colors in a mandala happily shared, “I feel that I want to equally make my life colorful and fill in colors between the whites and black of life and live my life to the fullest." Interestingly one of the participants sat silently during the art hour without involving himself in any action and during the reflection circle, he shared, “Did any of you wonder why didn’t I do anything? Because I don’t want to die.”

Another heartist shared how it was important to simply “let go” of the feelings such as anger, jealousy, mistrust and instead trust the higher power rather than taking control over our own and others life.

Another participant added that the way we sweep away the dirt from our home every single day, can we make it a practice to sweep away all these non-blossoming emotions before we end our day?

One other participant shared, “I have thought about death but never felt it like today. Today I could ‘feel’ something. I felt so heavy that I had to lie down. It felt it is over. And abruptly everything was dropped. I stayed with it for some time. The next thought that came was, it is okay even if my body is crushed like a leaf. Till date, I was comfortable looking at a leaf on the tree but not fallen on the ground. For the first time I was able to sit with it consciously and comfortably.”

I was reminded of Vinoba-ji who shared that each time we go to sleep, we go through temporary death and next day if we wake up we should be grateful and thankful. One of our community elders who spent few years with Vinoba-ji, Arun Dada, shares that he remembers impermanence by singing himself a prayer typically sung at funerals: “Ram Ram Sayta hai” -- Divinity is Our True Nature.

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Comments (4)

  • Audrey Lin wrote ...

    Wow, Trupti, what an incredible circle. So grateful for your taking the time to share this with all of us. :)

  • Trishna Shah wrote ...

    Beautiful share Trupti, these circles are deepening in such profound waysz. Thank you for holding space in this way and sharing the ripples for those of us who haven’t experienced heART Circles yet :)

  • Michaele Premet-Rosen wrote ...

    ❤️ "Heartist" ❤️

  • Lijo Chacko wrote ...

    The willingness of the broom to become dirty and also clean itself and be ready for the next round of work! - really liked that.