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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.

Cory Muscara

4.6

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:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

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.

Cory Muscara

4.6

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