See all Meditation


Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
CommunityFor Work

The Subtle Nuance of Impermanence

Cory Muscara



Cory Muscara



Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on your phone

The Subtle Nuance of Impermanence

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to

your Daily Mindfulness.

In today's session, we're going

to talk about the subtle nuance

of understanding impermanence.

So a lot of us hear this word

impermanence in the meditation space,

and even in personal development spaces.

It's something that we also

know intuitively in our life or

something that we, we see, we

sense that things are impermanent.

Thoughts come and go.

We see relationships changing.

We might see the landscape

around us shifting.

And we may even have a felt sense

of ourselves growing, growing older

and shifting, our body changing.

And so on some level impermanence

is very much in our awareness, but

a lot of it tends to be cognitive.

And what I often see for people is

almost like a bullying themselves

into the liberation of impermanence.

It's like, come on, you shouldn't

be attached to this thing.

All things are impermanent.

You know this.

As a way to force yourself

into acceptance of something.

But the true liberation that comes

from impermanence doesn't come

from understanding it conceptually.

It doesn't come from thinking

about things being impermanent.

It comes from direct contact with

impermanence that we can access through

contemplative practice like meditation.

All of us can understand it on a

conceptual level, but still be caught in

the suffering that attachment creates.

But when we pay really careful

attention to our life, as we do

in meditation, we start to see

impermanence in a non-cognitive way.

Think about it in your own

meditation practice, where you're

paying attention to the breath.

So you feel the breath.

Inhale, exhale, and then it passes.

Then there's another breath.

Inhale, exhale, it passes.

And then another one.

Inhale, exhale and it passes.

Now maybe the first time you

meditate for five minutes, not

much will come out of that.

You might feel a little bit more grounded.

But you do that over and over and over,

over the course of days, weeks, months,

and even years, eventually you develop

this intuitive sense that, Oh yeah.

There's a breath and then it passes.

And another one and it passes.

The same with thoughts.

We can take thoughts very seriously

when we first experience them.

They feel like they're going

to be there for a while.

They feel really personal.

But then we watch them.

Oh, there's a thought.

And it passes.

There's a thought and it passes.

And we're not thinking that, Oh,

the thought is passing right now.

We're seeing it clearly.

We're making direct contact

with our experience, and

that's the key nuance here.

That understanding of

impermanence doesn't come from our

conceptual understanding of it.

It comes from witnessing it directly.

And a meditation practice brings our

attention to the experience in such

a way that it illuminates that truth.

Once we see that clearly, then

the mind naturally lets go.

It no longer clings to things

because it knows that, you know,

all things are coming and going.

And are we going to eradicate

attachment entirely?

No, we're still going to feel a deep sense

of love and commitment to the people we

care about and the things we care about.

But we'll also feel more of an ease and

a spaciousness around those things that

allows us to appreciate them while they're

there and not be as tormented when they

change, which as always, they will.

So I hope this gives you something to

think about as you think about, well,

as you feel into impermanence and start

to understand it on a deeper level.

And it will continue to show up in your

meditation practice, which we'll do soon.

Thank you for your practice and let's

settle in for today's meditation.

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.

Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.


Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!


Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Start 7-Day Free Trial

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.