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Apr 24, 2020, 16:53 IST

State Of Constant Change Is Absolute & Immutable

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One of the biggest challenges right now – if we are lucky enough to have not caught the virus – is that the apparent stability of our day-to-day lives has been unexpectedly interrupted. This has caught most of us completely off guard, and as a result we find ourselves thrown off balance, tumbling through an onslaught of existential insecurity, fear and confusion.

The fact is, life is inherently unpredictable and ever insecure. We never know which breath will be our last or when we will lose a loved one or a pet suddenly and unexpectedly. Indeed, from the moment of our entrance into this world, until our eventual departure down the long tunnel into the white light, nothing is ever assured, except that one day, it will all come to an abrupt end. So, how can we best prepare ourselves for that which is inevitable.
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I have always felt that the Buddha’s greatest gift was his teaching on the Law of Impermanence. The Buddha tells us that every single aspect of manifest reality is in a state of constant flux – that everything is changing all the time, and nothing that exists is permanent.

This state of constant change is absolute and immutable.


To earnestly live the Dharma, is to live in alignment with the absolute truth of the way things are, and to avoid or deny this truth is to live in denial of reality.

According to the Buddha, the only way we can achieve spiritual liberation is if we live in alignment with the truth of the Dharma. Most of us live in denial – individually and collectively, we collude in the pretence that life is stable and predictable, and we organize our entire lives around this falsehood.

Once we understand the Buddha’s teaching on the Law of Impermanence, the question arises: how exactly does one live the human experience in alignment with the truth of constant and perpetual change?

Many spiritual authorities claim that we must simply practise “detachment”. But is that really possible in our ordinary lives? How do i adore my son and yet be detached in my relationship with him? How do i honour and cherish my wife and yet, simultaneously be completely detached? It sounds good in theory, but i wonder who could really be so utterly free amid their worldly engagements, commitments and attachments?

I have thought deeply about how to live in alignment with the Law of Impermanence, and i believe that there are only two ways to embrace the enormous challenge of this teaching.

Firstly, we can renounce worldly life altogether and live permanently as a wandering mendicant with no attachments whatsoever. Secondly, we can remain in the world while finding the courage to live our loftiest dreams fully and unconditionally, not waiting another second for the conditions to get any better.

In both cases we will be living in alignment with the Buddha’s teaching. As a wandering mendicant we will be ever ready for change. Alternatively, if we cease to wait for anything to change and decide to live this and every moment as if it is our last, we will always be ready for change – ready to let go, fully prepared for life, and also for death.

To live in alignment with the truth of impermanence doesn’t take time. It only requires a fierce commitment to waking up and letting go right now.

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