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The word impermanence may be new to you. Yet, it plays an important role in Buddhist philosophy. We live in a world that is impermanent, but we want everything in life to be permanent and everlasting. So, what is impermanence?

Impermanence means that nothing stays the same. In other words, everything is in an endless state of change. Since the changes are gradual and ongoing, it's hard to notice them.

Most of us are really busy and under stress, as a result, we don't take the time to reflect on life. This makes it even harder to become aware of impermanence.

How To See Impermanence?

Take a look at some photos of yourself from different stages of your life, when you were an infant, a child, a teenager, a young adult, middle-aged and elderly. Pay special attention to your face and body.

Can you see the changes in your physical appearance? This is impermanence. Change is natural; you can't escape it.

It's also easy to see impermanence in nature. For instance, look at a cloud and you will notice that it doesn't stay the same for very long. It may grow, take on new forms, dissolve, change colors and drift away. I encourage you to see this for yourself in real life.

Here are 2 photographs of the same cloud, taken just a minute apart.
Here are two photos of the same cloud, taken one minute apart. Can you observe the change?

Without exception, feelings are also impermanent. Throughout the day, they fluctuate between high and low, like a bouncing ball. For example, compliments make you feel good, while criticism makes you feel bad.

Impermanence is a law of nature, which means it is beyond our control. When you understand that everything is impermanent, it's easier to accept negative changes such as growing old, rainy days and unpleasant feelings. This is because you know you can't do anything about it.

Since change is an inevitable part of life, it's totally meaningless to resist it, which only leads to frustration and unhappiness.

It's better to accept that nothing stays the same...

Suggested Reading:   Spirituality And Simplicity   Buddhist Temples

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