‘With a small ‘d’, dharma and dhamma mean the smallest elements of existence that make up a moment of consciousness, such as the heat of a room, the background sounds or the lingering taste of the orange you have just eaten, the smell of incense, the thoughts you have. All these scraps of information are dharmas or dhammas. They are in a continuous pulse of movement, of coming to be and ceasing to be; nevertheless, we experience them as continous reality. THE DHAMMAPADA
I came across the above snippet last night and it has stayed with me all day. Somehow, pausing to consider the tiny, flashes of experience which occur as part of the day has made impermanence so much more meaningful.
I often reflect on impermanence, but I seem to have always considered it in relation to the ‘bigger’ things: the big emotions, difficulties, world events; acknowledging their impermanence certainly and that they (in the grand scheme of things) are simply flashes in the pan of the universe, but somehow today focussing on the impermanence of the micro-elements of my experience caused a shift for me.
Today during my short morning meditation, the things which normally would have distracted me and caused me irritation, someone banging pans in the kitchen, cars/trucks in the distance etc seemed nothing. Each one, I noted as one of those micro-elements, making up consciousness and then gone, only to be replaced with the next sound, feeling, observation. And I felt silly for having been irritated by these things in the past, when they really were so very fleeting. I realised that so much of my attention had been taken up in my annoyance over the disturbance to the tranquility I was trying to find, that I had inadvertently disturbed it further. I had created suffering.
I noticed more of these during the day, being with my children, and felt happy that I was noticing the precious fleeting moments and ‘being’ in them far more fully as a result.
Will be putting ‘little ds’ in my line of sight to remind me.