2 Le Hoang Yen

I saw the sun shining brightly when I was walking downhill from Olin.

Sunrays shine

Straight into my eyes –

I feel warm.


As a believer in Buddhism myself, I found this week’s discussion and readings quite relevant and helpful in broadening my own understanding of this religion.  During lectures, we concentrated on unraveling the significance in the three Buddhist notions of evanescence: anitya, duhka and anatman. Although all three have an equal connection to one another, I feel that duhka, the concept that life is always suffering, results from anitya and anatman. Thus, it carries the heaviest weight. The emphasis on the idea that “nothing in the world is permanent” (Inoyue, 31) serves as a believable reasoning why life is suffering on all levels. For instance, suffering life usually is observed through human relationships. Lady Sarashina in her memoir As I Crossed the Bridge of Dreams emphasizes the notion of duhka when she realizes her dream-like life brings her more misery: “I began to doubt whether any of my romantic fancies, even those that had seemed most plausible, had the slightest basis in fact.” (Sarashina 87) Due to this notion of change, her wishes and desires are never satisfied. Constant change makes her realize that expectations for continuous success, happiness and fulfillment become unrealistic. We always wait for the best to happen, but we fail to expect the worst.  In an evanescent world, a death of a loved one can arrive any minute, the trauma one might not even expect. Love can be fruitful at one point, but might cease to exist in the next. We ourselves endlessly change and also even cease to exist without much warning. Therefore, these fundamental Buddhist concepts teach us to accept the current flow of life and humbly appreciate what we have.


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