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Meditation on impermanence

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:38 am
by Aemilius
In Ordinary Ngondro we have the topic of impermanence, in it there is the subtopic of impermanence of the outer world, meaning impermanence of Earth, impermanence of the Solar System and of the Milkyway Galaxy. Study of geology is essential to get anywhere in the understanding of impermanence of Earth. Especially useful are Plate Tectonics, and how rocks and mountains are slowly formed, and how they then slowly wear away completely. It is very rewarding, it gives you a deep sense of impermanence, when you start to fathom it. The earth we walk upon is not as solid as it seems, it changes and moves very slowly but continuously. You must study and meditate on it long enough to get a real sense of impermanence of Planet Earth and its continents, its mountains and its rivers. This leads further on to the formation and impermanence of the solar system and to the formation and impermanence of stars/suns and of galaxies.

Re: Meditation on impermanence

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:17 pm
by Wesley1982
Like something out of a Riddick Bowe movie? ;)

Re: Meditation on impermanence

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:21 pm
by Andrew108
Wesley1982 wrote:Like something out of a Riddick Bowe movie? ;)
Isn't Riddick Bowe a boxer?

To the OP how fast is impermanence?

Re: Meditation on impermanence

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:23 pm
by Wesley1982
Andrew108 wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:Like something out of a Riddick Bowe movie? ;)
Isn't Riddick Bowe a boxer?
No, its a space-oriented action/sci-fi movie.

Re: Meditation on impermanence

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:28 pm
by Wesley1982
Actually, the DVD series says Chronicles of Riddick not the boxer. hmm

Re: Meditation on impermanence

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:04 pm
by Bonsai Doug
Riddick Bowe is indeed a boxer. "Richard B. Riddick," or simply "Riddick,"
is a scyfi character played by Vin Diesel in, I believe, a total of three movies.

Re: Meditation on impermanence

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:34 pm
by Aemilius
Another aspect of impermanence is ageing, i.e. becoming old. In it several things happen to you, things that you never understood before. Awareness of impermanence is a state of mind, it is not morbid nor pessimistic, it is difficult to describe. You should not escape from the experience of impermanence into belief in a supreme being or in an eternal soul, nor into nihilism. It is difficult to attain, difficult to maintain. You should first be calm and peaceful, before taking up the meditation on impermanence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageing

Re: Meditation on impermanence

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:49 pm
by Dechen Norbu
Meditation on impermanence has a clear purpose. We don't need to over complicate things.
We spend a lot of time attached to things that will change or disappear. Then, when such happens, we suffer.
Let me give a few examples:
If we base our happiness in our beauty, it will vanish.
If we cling to our relations, they will end.
If we cling to money, it will never be enough to buy everything we want and we will lose it all when we die.
If we cling to this self, it will too disappear.
Whatever entity we may take as permanent will be shown impermanent. So if we deposit our happiness in it, when it disappears, so will our happiness.
Look at a beautiful fresh apple. Think of it as your happiness when you cling to things. Then watch it rot. That's what happens to our happiness if it is dependent of it.
You better eat the apple and not let your happiness depend on it. Enjoy it while it lasts and then release any clinging.
It's important to know that meditation on impermanence doesn't stand alone. There are other teachings explaining how you get rid of the causes of suffering. They all point to the fact that in the end it is a mistaken apprehension of reality and its ramifications that lead to suffering.

Re: Meditation on impermanence

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:31 am
by Aemilius
There are different levels in the meditation on impermanence. The first one is a spur to spiritual practice, a cause for not postponing it into indefinite future.
The second one is more subtle, it means that seeing impermanence is the essence of Dharma.
There are different types of people. According to the Sravakayana teaching some people realize selflessness, some realize impermanence, and some realize the suffering nature of existence. It depends on your mental and spiritual type, your constitution so to speak.
Realization of Earth and the Universe as impermanent is intended here. It is a profound subject for meditation.