A Beautiful Dance on Broken Glass

“You see this goblet?” asks Achaan Chaa, the Thai meditation master. “For me this glass is already broken. I enjoy it; I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on the shelf and the wind knocks it over or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ When I understand that the glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.” — Thoughts Without a Thinker. Dr Mark Epstein


The glass is already broken. Our lives, a beautiful dance on broken glass.

When I remind myself of this, that the glass is borrowed, not bought — it sometimes saddens me.

I think often of what I’ve lost.

Or what could have been.

Then the glass feels frail, and fractured — foisted on a feeble frame.....always waiting to wither away.

But true mindfulness is the great enemy of this sort of sadness.

Because life is always right here. And in this moment.

Through that lens, I begin to feel great gratitude for what is.

Right now.

I remember hearing the late, great Christopher Hitchens once debate. He was already sick. And it was clear by his appearance, as he said so well — “more and more was being taken from less and less”

The host asked him — how are you feeling?

And he said — well, i’m dying.

But so too are you.

The audience laughed. Nervously at first.

But then louder, and more comfortably, with the simple truth of it all.

And so it is.

For all of us.

The mindfulness of Impermanence is the great motivator for me.

It’s all borrowed time.

And nothing lasts.

It’s all a beautiful dance, on broken glass.