This week’s practice will investigate the experience of impermanence (anicca). On some level, we all recognize that life is a constant flow of relentless change. And yet we rarely live in accordance with that Truth.
We tend to pursue a strategy for happiness that attempts to impute solidity upon the flux. We try to stake out a patch of existence that is stable, firm, seemingly safe. And while this approach is relatively fruitful in a conventional way – we take measures to protect our health, our relationships, our finances, etc. – for our ultimate peace of mind, this strategy is destined to create despair and frustration because the inevitable fact of change is unavoidable.
The Buddha’s strategy for happiness asks us to wholeheartedly embrace this change. We open our minds and hearts to the delicate contingency of this very moment. And from that clear attunement to life as it is, we are better able to respond with skill and ease. Our infantile demand that life should go our way softens to a wiser embrace of life on life’s terms
Points for Practice
- In your daily meditation practice, give special notice to the endless change of sensations, sounds and thoughts as they course through awareness. Simply abide in the awareness that knows this change.
- In daily life, look for moments of irritation, frustration, impatience… times when things aren’t going to plan. Try to notice if you are asserting a demand on the situation that it be a particular way. If so, relax and try to re-engage with the moment from the more spacious perspective of awareness.
- If you are new to this list and/or would like a review of the first part of the meditation instructions, please click HERE.
- Download a talk by Ajahn Amaro, Winds of Change, HERE.
Originally published on September 15, 2010