Tag Archives: Impermanence

Expectations, Change, & Growth – Oh my!!!

I LOVE a good plan. I’m a planner. Sometimes it hurts when unforeseen kinks appear in my plans. This week I talk about some things I do to manage my own expectations, in case things don’t go exactly the way I plan them.

Impermanence – Eternally Existing and Dissolving

Everything comes into being and then dissolves.

Whenever you encounter suffering in your life you don’t have to worry because nothing lasts forever. This suffering is not permanent. Facing your fears becomes easier because you begin to realize that fear too is temporary.

Every pain and discomfort become much less of an obstacle because you realize your time of suffering is limited.

You learn to be grateful for the little things because you look at them as if they are already over. Like a shiny new teacup that is already broken. Each joy in life, no matter how small, is a blessing.

When we waste our time longing for tomorrow we miss the beauty that could have been found in today.

Life’s fleeting moments, the little pleasures, a sunrise, a friendly dog begging for a belly rub, colorful fall leaves, and the smell of fresh spring flowers, become more valuable.

Anicca or impermanence is understood in Buddhism as the first of three marks of existence, the other two being dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness) and anatta (non-self, non-soul, no essence).[4][3][6] – found on Wikipedia

Buddhism acknowledges that life is full of suffering it confronts it as just another part of life.

The Four Noble Truths, one of Buddhism’s many lists, talks about suffering, and it causes (craving, thirst, & desire). Our constant seeking for something outside ourselves can never bring us joy. Suffering is inevitable but the pain is optional.

Luckily there is another list, The Eightfold Path, filled with detailed instructions on how to be free from life’s miseries. Like an eight-step program for getting your life on track.

The Eightfold Path is the fourth Truth of the Four Noble Truths. Very basically, the truths explain the nature of our dissatisfaction with life. The Buddha taught that we must thoroughly understand the causes of our unhappiness in order to resolve it.

– More about The Eightfold Path on About Religion

By following The Eightfold Path we learn how to end our suffering, by stopping the eternal cycle of clinging and craving.

When I first started studying Buddhism I tackled The Eightfold Path like a checklist, marking off each step one by one. I’m not perfect and there are still days when I make mistakes but now I have memorized this list (I found a neat cheat sheet here on BuddhaWeb.org).

These teachings have changed my life and in many ways, I am still changing. My person is transient like a river constantly washed clean by new wisdom and experiences – breathing in impermanence.