Impermanence and selflessness are not negative aspect of life, but the very foundation on which life is built. Impermanence is the constant transformation of things. Without impermanence, there can be no life. Selflessness is the interdependent nature of all things. Without interdependence, nothing could exist.
Thech Nháº¥t Háº¡nh
Ask yourself these two questions: Do I remember at every moment that I am dying, and that everyone and everything else is, and so treat all beings at all times with compassion? Has my understanding of death and impermanence become so keen and so urgent that I am devoting every second to the pursuit of enlightenment? If you can answer "yes" to both of these, then you really understand impermanence.
If we are not empty, we become a block of matter. We cannot breathe, we cannot think. To be empty means to be alive, to breathe in and to breathe out. We cannot be alive if we are not empty. Emptiness is impermanence, it is change. We should not complain about impermanence, because without impermanence, nothing is possible.
We are often sad and suffer a lot when things change, but change and impermanence have a positive side. Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible. Life itself is possible... If your daughter is not impermanent, she cannot grow up to become a woman. Then your grandchildren would never manifest.
In our instinctive attachments, our fear of change, and our wish for certainty and permanence, we may undercut the impermanence which is our greatest strength, our most fundamental identity. Without impermanence, there is no process. The nature of life is change. All hope is based on process.
Rachel Naomi Remen
There is no such thing as permanence at all. Everything is constantly changing. Everything is in a flux. Because you cannot face the impermanence of all relationships, you invent sentiments, romance, and dramatic emotions to give them certainty. Therefore you are always in conflict.
With every glance I take in the 'negative-positive' of existence and the inevitability of impermanence to its glowing limits. Alone and haunted, I trust my inner eye, the heart. Everything, absolutely everything, becomes visible. Appearances, disappearances, nothing seems of secondary importance to me.
By contemplating the impermanence of everything in the world, we are forced to recognize that every time we do something could be the last time we do it, and this recognition can invest the things we do with a significance and intensity that would otherwise be absent. We will no longer sleepwalk through our life.
William Braxton Irvine
What yoga philosophy and all the great Buddhist teachings tells us is that solidity is a creation of the ordinary mind and that there never was anything permanent to begin with that we could hold on to. Life would be much easier and substantially less painful if we lived with the knowledge of impermanence as the only constant.
It is good to have a reminder of death before us, for it helps us to understand the impermanence of life on this earth, and this understanding may aid us in preparing for our own death. He who is well prepared is he who knows that he is nothing compared with Wakan-Tanka, who is everything; then he knows that world which is real.
If you have the insight of non-self, if you have the insight of impermanence, you should make that insight into a concentration that you keep alive throughout the day. Then what you say, what you think, and what you do will then be in the light of that wisdom and you will avoid making mistakes and creating suffering.
We have to make a consideration: emotional states are deeply influenced by external events, and here lies the problem. Since the external events are unstable, namely, that they are in perpetual change - a situation that Buddhist tradition defines as 'impermanence' - they are very difficult to be managed, and this bring people to panic. This difficulty to experience a reality in which nothing is permanent, that all is in constant motion- change, belongs to the human incapacity to accept the discontinuity of an occurrence of events that are always unpredictable and new. Impermanence is a principle that is a natural thing, but, in relation to the social and interhuman fields, this becomes a problem: especially in the last ten years, we can witness scenarios where instability, turbulence and uncertainty, frantically increase and continue to increase. Instability and change are perceivable everywhere - from the personal interaction between people to economic instability: in poor words, we don't know what the future will bring to us and we feel a continuous pressure. People feel a need for safety and stability, but this is an impossible thing in the conditions in which society finds itself, and here lies one of the main reasons why tensions, anxiety, and panic have became common situations.
The 'looking forward' so prevalent in the late 1990s was bound to end once the new millennium began. Like some others of that era, I predicted a new focus on the moment, on real experience, and on what things are actually worth right now. Then 9/11 magnified this sensibility, forcing America as a nation to contend with its own impermanence.
It gives you life, but you can't hold on to it. You can't breathe indefinitely. We need to surrender to the fact that all efforts at permanence are hopeless. No structure we can build will protect us from the contingencies of life. But in the midst of that impermanence is the incredible gift of life.
EPITAPH Now I'm not the brightest knife in the drawer, but I know a couple things about this life: poverty silence, impermanence discipline and mystery The world is not illusory, we are From crimson thread to toe tag If you are not disturbed there is something seriously wrong with you, I'm sorry And I know who I am I'll be a voice coming from nowhere, inside-- be glad for me.
Each time the losses and deceptions of life teach us about impermanence, they bring us closer to the truth. When you fall from a great height, there is only one possible place to land: on the ground-the ground of truth. And if you have the understanding that comes from spiritual practice, then falling is in no way a disaster, but the discovery of an inner refuge.
Refined, intense, wise, stiring, immediate, subtile, all the charmed qualities gather in Dropping the Bow. These translations are precious jewels. Like the erotic moods they investigate, these versions shimmer and startle with a palpable desire to be heard, and a mystical sense of impermanence. This is a transmission of a vital, extraordinary tradition.
Ah, the boo. The boo is the most maligned, gossiped about, ridiculed figure in the pantheon of prison characters. Boo, which is short for the street term "booty call, " is the casual girlfriend, the cheap feel in the sally port, the temporary object of someone's affections (although most boos don't realize the impermanence of their positions).
If we start worrying whether our nose is too big or too small, we should think, "What if I had no head? - now that would be a problem!" As long as we have life, we should rejoice. If everything doesn't go exactly as we'd like, we can accept it. If we contemplate impermanence deeply, patience and compassion will arise. We will hold less to the apparent truth of our experience, and the mind will become more flexible. Realizing that one day this body will be buried or burned, we will rejoice in every moment we have rather than make ourselves or others unhappy.
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
If we lived forever, if the dews of Adashino never vanished, if the crematory smoke on Toribeyama never faded, men would hardly feel the pity of things. The beauty of life is in its impermanence. Man lives the longest of all living things... and even one year lived peacefully seems very long. Yet for such as love the world, a thousand years would fade like the dream of one night.
The practice of celibacy alone was opening me up to a deeper sense of the way the mind-body connection works. I saw over and over that my mind and body could be filled with desire and that no matter how intense the craving was it would always pass. I didn't have to satisfy every desire that arose in my mind. I began to understand impermanence through direct experience rather than just intellectual theory.
Something always attracts us towards the ruins, because ruins remind us our fundamental problem: The problem of impermanence! Amongst the ruins we see the very end of our road! Whatever shows you the simple truth, it is your Master Teacher; whoever repeatedly recalls you of the plain truth, he is your good master!
Mehmet Murat ildan
The landscape, like Los Angeles itself, is transitional. Impermanence haunts the city, with its mushroom industries--the aircraft perpetually becoming obsolete, the oil which must one day be exhausted, the movies which fill America's theatres for six months and are forgotten. Many of its houses--especially the grander ones--have a curiously disturbing atmosphere, a kind of psychological dankness which smells of anxiety, overdrafts, uneasy lust, whisky, divorce and lies.
If dislocation is a permanent state, I want to try and explore the possibility of temporary impermanence. If dislocation is a tatty dress from the thrift store, perhaps the solution is not to cast it aside. If dislocation is a tatty dress, perhaps the only solution is to mend it, scent it, and wear it until everything about it signifies newness, something close to the perpetual promise of a fresh start.
The story of the Zen Master whose only response was always "Is that so?" shows the good that comes through inner nonresistance to events, that is to say, being at one with what happens. The story of the man whose comment was invariably a laconic "Maybe" illustrates the wisdom of nonjudgment, and the story of the ring points to the fact of impermanence which, when recognized, leads to nonattachment. Nonresistance, nonjudgement, and nonattachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.
The essential cultural discrimination is not between having and not having or haves and have-nots, but between the superfluous and the indispensable. Wisdom, it seems to me, is always poised upon the knowledge of minimums; it might be thought to be the art of minimums. Granting the frailty, and no doubt the impermanence, of modern technology as a human contrivance, the man who can keep a fire in a stove or on a hearth is not only more durable, but wiser, closer to the meaning of fire, than the man who can only work a thermostat.
Most days, I've got this impermanence thing down just great. It doesn't bother me; what's to bother? Most days, I sit comfortably with the knowledge that I'll die alone, and I feel nothing so strongly as my embrace of my nothingness. Most days don't really matter, because there is only this day, and right now I feel like fear is all I am. I don't want you to leave. Just let me pretend you won't.' He wrapped his arms around me and we slept. For that night, we would last forever.
One day some people came to the master and asked: How can you be happy in a world of such impermanence, where you cannot protect your loved ones from harm, illness or death? The master held up a glass and said: Someone gave me this glass; It holds my water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. I touch it and it rings! One day the wind may blow it off the shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table. I know this glass is already broken, so I enjoy it - incredibly.
There would be no chance at all of getting to know death if it happened only once. But fortunately, life is nothing but a continuing dance of birth and death, a dance of change. Every time I hear the rush of a mountain stream, or the waves crashing on the shore, or my own heartbeat, I hear the sound of impermanence. These changes, these small deaths, are our living links with death. They are death's pulses, death's heartbeat, prompting us to let go of all the things we cling to.
See, see how the sun has moved onward while we talked. Nothing can stop it in its course. Prayers cannot halt the revolving of nature. It is the same with human life. Victory and defeat are one in the vast stream of life. Victory is the beginning of defeat, and who can rest safely in victory? Impermanence is the nature of all things of this world. Even you will find your ill fortunes too will change. It is easy to understand the impatience of the old, whose days are numbered, but why should you young ones fret when the future is yours?
I have been thinking about existence lately. In fact, I have been so full of admiration for existence that I have hardly been able to enjoy it properly... I feel sometimes as if I were a child who opens its eyes on the world once and sees amazing things it will never know any names for and then has to close its eyes again. I know this is all mere apparition compared to what awaits us, but it is only lovelier for that. There is a human beauty in it. And I can't believe that, when we have all been changed and put on incorruptibility, we will forget our fantastic condition of mortality and impermanence, the great bright dream of procreating and perishing that meant the whole world to us. In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. Because I don't imagine any reality putting this one in the shade entirely, and I think piety forbids me to try.
The Buddha's original teaching is essentially a matter of four points - the Four Noble Truths: 1. Anguish is everywhere. 2. We desire permanent existence of ourselves and for our loved ones, and we desire to prove ourselves independent of others and superior to them. These desires conflict with the way things are: nothing abides, and everything and everyone depends upon everything and everyone else. This conflict causes our anguish, and we project this anguish on those we meet. 3. Release from anguish comes with the personal acknowledgment and resolve: we are here together very briefly, so let us accept reality fully and take care of one another while we can. 4. This acknowledgement and resolve are realized by following the Eightfold Path: Right Views, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Recollection, and Right Meditation. Here "Right" means "correct" or "accurate" - in keeping with the reality of impermanence and interdependence.
Man was, and is, too shallow and cowardly to endure the fact of the mortality of everything living. He wraps it up in rose-coloured progress-optimism, he heaps upon it the flowers of literature, he crawls behind the shelter of ideals so as not to see anything. But impermanence, the birth and the passing, is the form of all that is actual - from the stars, whose destiny is for us incalculable, right down to the ephemeral concourses on our planet. The life of the individual - whether this be animal or plant or man - is as perishable as that of peoples of Cultures. Every creation is foredoomed to decay, every thought, every discovery, every deed to oblivion. Here, there, and everywhere we are sensible of grandly fated courses of history that have vanished. Ruins of the "have-been" works of dead Cultures lie all about us. The hybris of Prometheus, who thrust his hand into the heavens in order to make the divine powers subject to man, carries with it his fall. What, then, becomes of the chatter about "undying achievements"?
Compassion for human hurt, a humble sense of our impermanence, an absolute valuation of justice-all of our so-called virtues only trouble us and serve to bolster, not assuage, horror. In addition, these qualities are our least vital, the least in line with life. More often than not, they stand in the way of one's rise in the welter of this world, which found its pace long ago and has not deviated from it since. The putative affirmations of life-each of them based on the propaganda of Tomorrow: reproduction, revolution in its widest sense, piety in any form you can name-are only affirmations of our desires. And, in fact, these affirmations affirm nothing but our penchant for self-torment, our mania to preserve a demented innocence in the face of gruesome facts. By means of supernatural horror we may evade, if momentarily, the horrific reprisals of affirmation. Every one of us, having been stolen from nonexistence, opens his eyes on the world and looks down the road at a few convulsions and a final obliteration. What a weird scenario. So why affirm anything, why make a pathetic virtue of a terrible necessity? We are destined to a fool's fate that deserves to be mocked. And since there is no one else around to do the mocking, we will take on the job. So let us indulge in cruel pleasures against ourselves and our pretensions, let us delight in the Cosmic Macabre. At least we may send up a few bitter laughs into the cobwebbed corners of this crusty old universe.