What do Baby Yoda/Grogu and the nature of reality have in common? That’s actually what we’re talking about in this article, we are talking about this idea of impermanence. Let’s dive in!
A couple weeks ago I was walking through Costco and I saw this little set of Star Wars dog toys. Now I don’t have any nieces or nephews, but my sister does have a dog, so I will send cute little Mable, the dog, some dog toys. When I got home and started to put Baby Yoda in the package, I paused because anybody that has ever sent a dog toy to a dog, especially a medium to large dog, knows that you are sending that toy to certain death within record time– his little squeaker will be ripped out. He will be no more. And I just looked at his cute little face. And in that moment I was having a lot of resistance to actually sending the dog toy to the dog itself because of its cuteness.
And we naturally have an aversion to stuff that we don’t like, or that seems bad. And on the surface, that’s just, you know, part of how we are made arguably, biologically and evolutionary. But it can become a real, real stumbling block on the personal and spiritual path. So one of the tools that can really help us is this Idea of Impermanence.
Impermanence is particularly well talked about in the Tibetan traditions. It’s the idea, the noticing that in our outer world, everything changes. Our bodies and our homes and the mountains and the oceans and everything is constantly changing. Everything that grows, comes in, is born, is birthed, is sprouting, will ultimately decay and die.
We all know that we’re gonna die, but we don’t really think about it. Our mind really does its best to block that out of our system. And this is actually a real problem because
- One, it is the nature of reality. Nobody gets out of this gig alive.
- Two, by denying the aspect of impermanence, we create clinging situations in which we are causing ourselves to suffer…to have not just bad feelings about what’s going to happen, but fighting against the nature of reality itself.
You have to force your mind to really realize and operate as if death can come at any moment. If your reaction in this moment is like, “Well, gosh, Leslie, you’re kind of a downer. I don’t wanna think about that.” Notice, which part of you is that coming from? Is it coming from the mind, the part of ourselves that lives in separateness that tries to get control? Your mind is a part of ourselves that counterbalances the heart or the soul, the part of ourselves to which nothing has ever happened, that is in touch with the great unity and the nature of the unchanging nature of your great mystery. However, you call that in your working spiritual hypothesis.
So, the key point here is:
Impermanence is a real thing. Everything that comes into being will also die, myself included and everyone and everything that I love in this outer world will also follow that cycle.
Mind vs Heart
There are two parts of myself, a mind part, you know, and some teachers like to call this the ego. Ego is not really a great, very precise term, so I tend to use mind as this part of ourselves. Different traditions really pick this apart, but for our purposes, the way we teach it in deeper lessons is mind versus heart, the more abiding part of ourselves. This mind part does not like the idea of Impermanence.
The goal is to come into a deeper acceptance and relationship with Impermanence, which is the nature of the reality in which we find ourselves. That gives us great freedom.
- It aligns us with truth versus mind’s version of reality, (which often causes us to suffer) versus the heart’s understanding of what endures.
- It creates a priority in our system. If we really wake up, we know that things are not assured and certain.
- It helps us hone in our human priorities, our values, our action steps.
- It helps us clarify and come into the right relationship with the actual nature of reality versus the mind’s view.
Learn to Appreciate and Acknowledge!
An actual practical thing that you can do on a daily basis, (whether it’s with cute dog toys that you’re going to send to your sister’s dog, and they’re going to devour it within a short amount of time) or with anything in your life, anything you enjoy! You wanna start to practice this twofold aspect, the practice of appreciating and also acknowledging its Impermanence.
I was sharing this idea of Impermanence with my mom and encouraging her to sort of, you know, practice this letting go. Her reaction from the mind, which was really natural was, “but I still wanna enjoy them!” So if your mind needs a little cookie reading this blog, the little cookie is you do get to enjoy them, but you do not get to enjoy them under the mind error understanding that you will always have them, that the only way you can be okay is when they are there.
I had to do my own little work around sending this cute little toy out. I’ve had him a little extra couple weeks around the house because I kind of delayed in sending and processing. Whatever that sticky part was in myself is also helping me, maybe also writing this blog and making this video. So you’re helping me in that way to enjoy! And also acknowledge that all things change. And that helps align me. As we said, the benefit of Impermanence is it aligns me with what I’m really aligned with, which is offering this gift, which is something fun. My sister is the person that got me to watch the Mandalorian. It’s a little point of connection in that way. I’m more aligned with that now because I’m more out of the mind grasping that I was having of like, “No, don’t send him away. He’s so cute!”
So you can see how this cycle works and you can apply this in your own life on a daily basis. If you find yourself really in enjoyment, allow yourself to enjoy it fully, and also start to come into a deeper letting go by knowing that this and all outer world things change. What this ultimately does as a practice is to really bring us back to the way of the heart and into deeper connection with the part of ourselves that does not change that abiding awareness on the inside.
This fall we’ll also be taking a group through my Practical Spirituality training. If this really sparkles for you and you wanna go deeper and learn how to:
That’s what we’ll be doing.
If you know somebody else who is a baby Yoda/Grogu fan, or really just is into walking the path of understanding the deeper nature of reality, send this along. I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible, really live their lives on purpose in a heart aligned way, free from the snags of the subtle body-mind wiring. Things that can happen with being a human.
Disclaimer: This program is not intended to be a substitute for professional mental health or counseling services. No practitioner-patient relationship is established and the training content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and nothing here is intended to diagnose, cure or treat any disorders.