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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

We Are All Teacups

We are all teacups. We all exist, yet we are all breakable at any moment in time. We are all uniquely made and hold our own stories, yet we are all molded by the surrounding environment.

During a group discussion the other day about impermanence, Nick compared everything we know to teacups. Things we see, think, and experience are all teacups that make life so worthwhile. These teacups exist now, but sometime in the future, whether that be in an hour or in 1,000 years, everything we know will cease to exist. Eventually our most prized possessions will break, our feelings will change, and the people we know will move on. In this moment, everything we have is as fragile and breakable as a teacup. We don’t know when the next natural disaster will devastate a community, we don’t know when the next violent conflict will occur, we don’t even know how long we have on this planet.

Given the uncertainty of the future, the teacups in our lives deserve to be recognized more. It’s time we wake up each morning with a deep sense of gratitude for another day on Earth. It’s time we talk with those closest to us and recognize the value of relationships as opposed to material goods. It’s time we embrace our joy and sorrow and follow our passions. This moment we are living in right now will never exist again in history, so it’s time to take advantage of every moment and every opportunity in out path.

Throughout the past week spent at Namo Buddha, I have had a lot of time to reflect and to analyze the way I see the world. I have thought about how I interact with myself, others, and the world around me. In doing so, I have recognized how often I overlook the amazing teacups in my life. At least once a day I look around and still have to pinch myself. It all seems so surreal. Here I am, in the middle of Nepal on the top of a mountain, surrounded by thousands of prayer flags, and overlooking one of the most sacred monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism.

How lucky we are to be on such an amazing journey of curiosity, self-reflection, learning, and friendship. How lucky we are to be able to immerse ourselves in such a different way of life at a young age. How lucky we are to have such crucial time to explore and discover before beginning the next stage of our lives.

At the end of the day, it all comes full circle back to the impermanence of the teacup. An essential part of human nature is the fact that we are all just temporary. While this concept certainly evokes some uncertainty and fear, it also provides hope and comfort. Hope for many more days left on Earth, and inspiration to live each day with as though tomorrow might be the day the teacup breaks.