The glass is already broken
by Sai Krishna
One day some people came to the master and asked ‘How can you be happy in a world of such impermanence? The master held up a glass and said ’Someone gave me this glass, and I really like this glass. It holds my water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. I touch it and it rings! One day the wind may blow it off the shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table. And I say, ‘Of course.’ When I understand that the glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.
The essence of this teaching is that all of life is in a constant state of change. Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. Every tree begins with a seed and will eventually transform back into the earth. Every machine, every piece of cloth will wear out and crumble; it’s only a matter of when. Our bodies too are born and they will die. A glass is created and will eventually break.
There is peace in this teaching. When you expect something to break, you’re not surprised or disappointed when it does. Instead of becoming immobilized when something is destroyed, you feel grateful for the time you have had. Remember this, next time when you are upset or irritated. What causes anger, stress is that things don’t go the way we expect them to. This time, expect that things will go wrong. And accept it.
In the words of Leo Babauta “Expect your partner to be less than perfect, expect your friends to let you down, expect plans to go awry, expect people to be rude, expect colleagues to not do their share, expect the glass to break. And accept it.” Didn’t they say, acceptance is the first step to conquer misfortune? When these inevitable facts happen, you’ll not get upset, you’ll smile and think “I expected that to happen”. And, you’ll have peace of mind.