I was in the front row of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s retreat in Thailand. Sitting meditation lasted for hours, and each time I opened my eyes I saw only the three words he’d painted in bold black letters across the wall:
this is it
No capital T at the beginning and no period at the end, because those moves likely felt too certain, I thought.
With each passing hour my body broke down, and the resounding feeling of impermanence that I’d felt only in brief moments throughout my life began to take root deeper inside of me.
this is it
This is the moment from which we can choose to live our best lives. And this is another moment. And this one, too.
Often, when we think of stringing these moments together, we think about our “legacy” or how we’ll be remembered.
In this sense, we’re not so much living in this moment as we are gamifying the moment—using it to collect points for later.
When we feel a sense of impermanence, as we all do as humans, our default is to move away. But the lessons contained within those moments are best absorbed when we lean in.