Saturday, June 11, 2016

23 - Permanent and Impermanent

My Father is a permanent part of my life!

As we plan to launch our TSG Fundraising for our permanent TSG Center,  I sense the energy of continuity in the work that I do. I see it in context of something larger than myself. What we do, what I do, matters. What Torkom wrote and exemplified matters. What comes after us matters. What we do to make the future a continuity matters. There is both permanence and impermanence in life; we have to make wise choices as we let the energy flow in permanence.

It is easy to serve for a minute; continuity is much harder.

It is easy to love and give for one minute; continuous loving and sacrifice is much harder.

Permanency, continuity, takes courage and faith. The courage to continue without seeing the accomplished goal. The faith in knowing the mystery eventually becomes material. There is a courage and faith beyond words and beyond tangible life. Their reality is in the intangible and this reality is felt deep in our hearts.

I work daily, for 29 years, non-stop. I believe in what I do. I believe in the good that I help happen. I believe in the Teaching and its great principles that inform the lives of all who love and cherish life. I see the continuity of these traditions in all cultures and faiths. Yes, humans distort and impose. Humans hate and become racists and bigots. Humans kill and starve people. Humans close their eyes when hatemongers ply their trade. But, humans also love, save, help, uplift, heal, and sacrifice for others. Humans impact life in myriad ways, every minute of our lives.

I see how what I do now will have a huge impact on the lives of those whom I have never heard of. What comes after me matters. What I build now matters. When I enjoy the old books in our library, books printed 100 years ago, I cherish the courage that it took for someone to write these words, to print, to make into a book, to teach others about its principles. When I hear beautiful music, I cherish the courage of its creator. When I see a beautiful, timeless building, my eyes take it in; I cherish its creator and its caretaker.

This week, I received news of the death of a young man — father, husband, and son. Then news came of another death of a 93 year-old friend. Then news of several people with incurable cancers. Then more news about various illnesses and challenges people are suffering. Requests for prayers — healing, nurturing from multiple sources came. This along with the “normal” vicissitudes of life of ageing bodies, crises in every part of the planet — war, displacement, starvation, abuse and neglect and so on and on — has left me thinking: what is real after all? And, I wanted to hold onto that permanence and trust in it.

I recently read a lovely note on Facebook by a friend who reminded me to love, laugh, read, enjoy, eat, and live. I liked this and very much wanted to be “in the moment” and not let life slip away or get me down.

There comes a time in life when we can no longer allow the past to inform all we do now. For how many years will we walk forward and look backward? The past is past; it is done. What about now and the future? Something shifts when I note that the old no longer needs to inform who I am.

I will celebrate life at the Grand Canyon. I will see its grandiose, wild beauty once again through the eyes of grand-kids who have never visited the Grand Canyon. I will stare at the vastness of this natural wonder and ponder on the millions of people who have come and gone, who have visited and are now no longer on this earth. I will remember how my Father loved to visit the Grand Canyon and hike its trails. I will think of the billions of years that it took to create this phenomenal beauty of nature. I will go out in the night and, in inky darkness, let the sky and its luminous bodies engulf me and my senses. In that space, time, and vastness, what am I but a speck of dust. I am of the earth and I am of the sky! I am impermanent in the permanent filaments of cosmos.

I had been there many times with my Dad, and had great times and memories. Now, to see it all through the eyes of grand kids. We walked through a wooded area for a mile, breathing in the scents of pine trees in the hot air. They did not know what awaited them. Suddenly, a different light was visible through the trees and, on a rise in elevation, the kids ran up and behold, the Grand Canyon. We were trailing behind, and all we could hear were the WOWs coming from their little bodies..."WOW...nothing like the pictures we have seen." All the memories of wonder, of joy, of love, of being one with life came flooding back to me and I knew at that moment, that the kids would cement this memory into their minds and in the future, take their kids there and have that moment of WOW. The flow of love, of unity with life, had just made a new bridge from us grandparents, to them, the kids. This is what brings the mystery down to manifestation, to marry the WOW factor of life, the non-identified factor, and feel it and sense it and hear it and pass it on. Remembering this, life has deeper meaning, for I can understand what is permanent and what is impermanent. I can see the impermanence of my life against the billions of years of life of the Canyon and the permanent record of stone and dust. I can also see the intangible memories handed down from one generation to the next become permanent. The art of loving is the love between the infinite and the finite, the bridge that unites the mystery into actualization.

I am more alive when I consciously experience life around me. I remind myself: Be in the natural rhythm. Watch children as they live. Listen to the birds sing, the trees swaying in the wind. Listen to the sound the eucalyptus leaves make as the wind rhythmically flows through them, stops, then silence, then the planet releases one more gust of wind; the pattern is repeated. Listen to the swish of palm trees in the wind, like gigantic pieces of paper rustling rhythmically. Listen to the soft hum of bees and insects, the quail and the cactus wren. There is that neighborhood cardinal making its calls first thing in the morning and until sundown. He never tires! I hear the distant sound of motorcycles and cars going somewhere. Then look, see the multiple shades of greens shimmering in the hot desert, colors and moods of life around me. I become increasingly silent. I am in the life, not outside of it making a list of things to do, remembering to do this or that…just look up and out; listen; close the mouth.

I went to the doctor for knee pain. I got a treatment and it felt worse after I got home. I hobbled around wondering where life was taking me. After a while, the knee stopped throbbing; healing was taking place. Some processes are inevitable. Living longer has its advantages and drawbacks. The body in which we are does show evidence of wear and tear, “mileage” as one doctor put it! We need to care for our bodies, for our lives. I do believe in the cycles of life. I know I will go to another layer of existence when my body is no longer. I will return; but never as me now; what I am now is all I have; it is a one-time deal. Next time, different deal!

In the impermanence, find the permanent. In the eternal, find that one momentary fragment of life and live it, experience it, and make the soil and air better for your existence. Pass on the sense of wonder to those who come after you. This is the permanent, the thread that unifies the past, the present, and the future.

I imagine a new TSG Center in the not too distant future, a permanent home. It needs to be built on earth. It exists in the imaginations and creative world of the Cosmos, in Torkom's mind, in my mind's eye I see it. For every book, a library. For every teacher, a schoolroom. For every group of striving souls, a place to meet and meditate. For every Teaching, a home that stands the test of time. We, together owe Torkom our labor to anchor his creative genius and not let it get lost; not to turn into dust. We hold our hands out to the next generation and hand over the permanent part of us, one that never dies, the essence and the soul that is housed in beauty, in the desert, under the skies.

I invite you to help build the permanent home of TSG Center. That is a permanent testimonial to the genius of a great man, Torkom Saraydarian. His writings are changing lives one at a time; and eventually, Torkom’s writings will change the lives of millions; the testament of permanence.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

We love you and we cherish you. We support you and your work. May you continue to bless us.



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Gita Saraydarian
Founder and President of TSG Foundation, home of Torkom Saraydarian's creative works.
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