Adaptation Practice

This too will pass

Strong moods and feelings are sometimes too much to tolerate and bear. So, first practise with mild moods and feelings.

Many years ago there was a wise king in India who was plagued by bouts of severe depression. He called for the best jeweller in the land to make him a piece of jewellery that would lift him out of his depression. The man happened to be a goldsmith. He was told to take as long as was necessary and that cost was no object.

The man went away and returned to the king a year later with a little box. The king was expecting something larger. When he opened the box and found a plain gold ring he was most disappointed – especially because it had taken so long to make.

The goldsmith was about to be summarily dismissed when he asked the king to look inside the ring. There inscribed in exquisitely beautiful writing were the words, ‘This too, will pass’.

The king was deeply moved by this. From then on, whenever he felt depressed, he would look inside the ring and remind himself that however depressed he felt ‘This too, will pass.’

Everything changes, including how we feel. However we feel now will not be the same forever. It is not permanent. It too will pass. This includes pleasant as well as unpleasant sensations, moods, feelings, thoughts and circumstances.

We know intellectually that everything changes, that everything comes and goes, but we are unable to accept this emotionally.

When you think you can’t bear how you feel, say to yourself, silently if necessary, ‘This too will pass’.

Put all your feeling and effort into saying this over and over again, like a mantra. Keep repeating it until what you could not bear has eased or passed.

This step will no longer be necessary once you have the strength to live with the emotion in you.

With continued practice, this helps develop inner strength that enables you to get through particularly difficult times without reacting against how you feel.