hold of it. With your arm still outstretched, turn your hand

over so that it faces the sky. Release your hand and the coin

still rests on your open palm. You let go. And the coin is still

yours, even with all this space around it.

So there is a way in which we can accept impermanence

and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping.

Let us now think of what frequently happens in relationships.

So often it is only when people suddenly feel they are

losing their partner that they realize that they love them. Then

they cling on even tighter. But the more they grasp, the more

the other person escapes them, and the more fragile their relationship


So often we want happiness, but the very way we pursue

it is so clumsy and unskillful that it brings only more sorrow.

Usually we assume we must grasp in order to have that something

that will ensure our happiness. We ask ourselves: How

can we possibly enjoy anything if we cannot own it? How

often attachment is mistaken for love! Even when the relationship

is a good one, love is spoiled by attachment, with its

insecurity, possessiveness, and pride; and then when love is

gone, all you have left to show for it are the "souvenirs" of

love, the scars of attachment.

How, then, can we work to overcome attachment? Only by

realizing its impermanent nature; this realization slowly releases

us from its grip. We come to glimpse what the masters say the

true attitude toward change can be: as if we were the sky looking

at the clouds passing by, or as free as mercury. When mercury

is dropped on the ground, its very nature is to remain

intact; it never mixes with the dust. As we try to follow the

masters' advice and are slowly released from attachment, a great

compassion is released in us. The clouds of grasping part and

disperse, and the sun of our true compassionate heart shines

out. It is then that we begin, in our deepest self, to taste the

elating truth of these words by William Blake:

He who binds to himself a Joy,

Does the winged life destroy;

He who kisses the joy as it flies,

Lives in Eternity's sunrise. 7


Although we have been made to believe that if we let go

we will end up with nothing, life itself reveals again and

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