Recently, I had a pretty rough day. Nothing really unfortunate happened, but it was a constant series of small, frustrating events throughout the day, culminating in some bad news I got at work. By the time I got home from work, I was just exhausted.
But, sometimes these days just happen.
The Buddha described the conditions of life as fluid, constantly in flux, changing, without anything to rely upon. In the Lokavipatti Sutta of the Pali Canon (AN 8.6) he explains about eight conditions of the world:
“Monks, these eight worldly conditions spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions. Which eight? Gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. These are the eight worldly conditions that spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions.
He goes on to explain that both the wise and unwise experience these conditions, but there’s a key difference: the wise know not to get attached to them.
Getting pulled around by the ups and downs of life lead to more inevitable frustration. Why? Because there’s no guarantee the Universe will always go your way.
Life is always one step beyond your grasp, so sometimes it’s best to just let it go.