Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

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TheTraveler0203
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Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by TheTraveler0203 »

Hello! I need your help because I might been having a wrong Buddhist perspective about impermanence, pleasure and happiness. Every time I am improvising on my saxophone or dancing or listening to a good music and I remember the impermanence of everything, that everything has an end, I feel sad, I stop enjoying that moment and that happiness for a while, it's a bit tortuous but I'm sure that this is not the way that the Buddha taught and wanted that the followers of the Dharma feel like that depressing. I'm going on a EuroRail with my friends in a few days and I don't want to feel like this every time I am going through a good time. What I'm doing wrong? What should I do or see?
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Matt J
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by Matt J »

Actually, impermanence makes everything sweeter because it will not last. The problem is not the joy, the problem is clinging or attaching to that joy. It is ok to feel it, but you have no choice but to let it go. What tradition are you practicing?
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
tkp67
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by tkp67 »

Impermanence does not imply random rapid forced change it is merely the opposite of permanence and describes the nature of our existence.

it is meant to eliminate our attachment to delusion so the joy of being isn't reliant on sources that can't be controlled.
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Don't forget dukkha.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
TheTraveler0203
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by TheTraveler0203 »

Matt J wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:27 pm Actually, impermanence makes everything sweeter because it will not last. The problem is not the joy, the problem is clinging or attaching to that joy. It is ok to feel it, but you have no choice but to let it go. What tradition are you practicing?
I'm only into Buddhism about 6, 7 months I am not in a particular tradition yet. Why do you ask?
TheTraveler0203
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by TheTraveler0203 »

明安 Myoan wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:30 pm Don't forget dukkha.
What do you mean? Should I keep so suffering and dissatisfaction and mind?
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Rick
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by Rick »

> Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Understandable! The notion of impermanence can be quite terrifying when you first let it in. Stick with it, and it eventually becomes freeing.

For now you might try focusing on everything changing instead of everything ending. They are, after all, pretty much the same thing, right?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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Queequeg
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by Queequeg »

Matt J wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:27 pm Actually, impermanence makes everything sweeter because it will not last. The problem is not the joy, the problem is clinging or attaching to that joy. It is ok to feel it, but you have no choice but to let it go.
This.

Just to expand a little bit -

Let's analyze this.
TheTraveler0203 wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:19 pm Every time I am improvising on my saxophone or dancing or listening to a good music and I remember the impermanence of everything, that everything has an end, I feel sad, I stop enjoying that moment and that happiness for a while, it's a bit tortuous but I'm sure that this is not the way that the Buddha taught and wanted that the followers of the Dharma feel like that depressing.
So you experience joy in a moment. This is fine. Not particularly a problem from a Buddhist perspective. When you reflect on the nature of this joy, you remember it is impermanent. This is a fact and fundamentally a neutral observation about reality. You have to look at what causes the sadness. The sadness comes from realizing the moment of joy is ephemeral. Let's unpack that.

Do you feel sadness at watching a wave rise out of the ocean and then crash on the shore? Do you feel sadness at a bird singing on a branch and then flying off? There are a host of things that come and go in our sphere of experience - I doubt you feel sadness about all of them. I suspect most of the changes that occur around you go unnoticed by you.

So there is something more going on when you observe the joy of playing music and then reflecting on its impermanence.

First, is the awareness of the joy. You identify it as a discrete "thing" (even though joy is not really a thing in the ordinary English sense, it is in the Buddhist view - it is a thing, or a (little d) dharma). But identifying the joy doesn't cause sadness. Neither does the end of the joy, really, if you think about it. Consider before you became conscientious about impermanence. When you played music and felt joy, and then finished the song and put the instrument down, turning your attention to something else, feeling in the next moment, perhaps joy in a taste of ice cream. So then we can identify something else in the equation that triggered sadness...

That is attachment to the feeling of joy, and the sadness comes from being conscious that it will pass. What the teaching on impermanence apparently revealed is your attachment to the feeling of joy. The solution is to release.

A sage said, and I'm paraphrasing: "Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy, consider both suffering and joy as facts of life, and keep on the path of Dharma."

Life is not supposed to be a long episode of self flaggelation. Have fun on your trip, cherish the moments of joy you will have with your friends. Don't worry that they will pass. Just be there and be among friends.

Not a Buddhist quote, but I think its wise nonetheless:
"Isn't it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned? Isn't it also great when friends visit from distant places? If one remains not annoyed when he is not understood by people around him, isn't he a sage?"
-Confucius
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by 明安 Myoan »

TheTraveler0203 wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:05 pm
明安 Myoan wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:30 pm Don't forget dukkha.
What do you mean? Should I keep so suffering and dissatisfaction and mind?
As others have said, happiness that depends on impermanent conditions will pass away when those conditions pass away. The First Noble Truth is dukkha. It's also one of the Three Marks of existence. Suffering is inescapable in this world, with this human body and confused mind. The Buddha's solution, the Noble Eightfold Path and the Dharma generally, comprise much more than savoring pleasure in sensory experiences, which in my opinion, much "living in the present" thinking boils down to.

The teachings on virtue, such as Right Speech and developing the Four Immeasurables, can lead to longer term happiness, as well as develop insight into our situation and what we can do about it.

Dharma in general is the medicine to dukkha, rather than impermanent happiness.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

You are having a conceptual experience of impermanence.. just thoughts - this is not a direct experience and will divert attention like any thought. You might examine the thought itself, where it comes, where it goes etc...to have a genuine experience.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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TharpaChodron
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by TharpaChodron »

From what I have heard, all things are compounded and therefore impermanent, however enlightenment they say, is actually uncompounded.
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Re: Being aware of impermanence is making me stop enjoying the pleasure of the moment

Post by muni »

TheTraveler0203 wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:19 pm Hello! I need your help because I might been having a wrong Buddhist perspective about impermanence, pleasure and happiness. Every time I am improvising on my saxophone or dancing or listening to a good music and I remember the impermanence of everything, that everything has an end, I feel sad, I stop enjoying that moment and that happiness for a while, it's a bit tortuous but I'm sure that this is not the way that the Buddha taught and wanted that the followers of the Dharma feel like that depressing. I'm going on a EuroRail with my friends in a few days and I don't want to feel like this every time I am going through a good time. What I'm doing wrong? What should I do or see?
Sure many can enjoy your music.

I read other fellows' answers here, and I would repeat: only thought about it are not so helpful. Holding onto thinking that all is impermanent can even be frightening but therefore it isn't at all. Let thoughts flow. Impermanence is more to be freed from fear. The fear of losing because we hold onto something, the fear of change, the fear of less pleasant moments. Since such fears are depressing and not so useful.

Actually the fact that all is impermanent is that each moment is a fresh moment, get not so bound by all what passes. If you would keep going on and on and on with playing the beautiful music on the saxophone, you would finally get some problems.
Our live is a bit like going on EuroRail, all scenery are passing, each is fresh. The beauty of this is also relaxing. It is a reason to smile. I would love to come with you on EuroRail. Of course we all are on EuroRail.

Changing moments, its like a dance as well, just as you dance, other ways there would be no movement, you would stand there immovable on the dancefloor. Or play constantly one music note on the saxophone because you do not want to let it go, but you don't. It is due to impermanence that you play one note after the other and music flows.

Have a happy journey,
:namaste:
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
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