Discussion: Impermanence: 2011 October 14

The discussion on Friday 2011 October 14, 7pm – 8:50pm, will be facilitated by Fran.

This evenings discussion will focus on the characteristic of impermanence ( anicca ).

Recommended readings are from one of our agreed upon resources, In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon, edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi.  Consider reading and thinking about the following pages:

  • 178 – 179
  • 185 – 186
  • 192
  • 308 – 309
  • 341 – 342.

For newcomers and for those who do not have the book Fran will make photocopies.

Among other things, we will discuss these questions:

  • Why does impermanence cause suffering?
  • Why is seeing impermanence so important?

In addition, think about some impermanence you’ve experienced in your life and the negative or positive impact it had on you.

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One Response to Discussion: Impermanence: 2011 October 14

  1. Steve says:

    A few months back I got into a conversation about under-appreciated meditation techniques. One man told me that he daily repeats

    “The Five Daily Recollections”
    (Upajjhatthana Sutta: Subjects for Contemplation )

    The accesstoinsight.org translation, is clunky, so these are the words he uses:

    “I am of the nature to decay”,
    “I am of the nature to get sick”,
    “I am of the nature to die”,
    “All that is mine, beloved and dear to me, will one day leave me”,
    “I am the owner of my kamma, heir to my kamma, abide supported by my kamma, if I do good I receive good, if I do bad I receive bad”

    Given last nights discussion on impermanence I thought people would find the quote interesting. Particularly given the quote Fran read to us from the Venerable Gunaratana’s book “Beyond Mindfulness In Plain English” where he said that while most people understand impermanence, it is quite another matter to get the concept to sink in to the point where a person’s habitual ways of approaching life changes.

    I am a firm believer in the power of brief daily reviews to create profound changes in the mind over time.

    It looks like a few other people are one step or 2600 years ahead of me.

    At least with people dispositions similar to my own, I think there is a danger in taking such daily recollections in cynical way and giving up on many good things. On the other hand I think such daily recollections, taken the right way, have tremendous power to help a person to live each day from the perspective of an entire life and the perspective of the most important truths. I think such recollections can help a person extract more appreciation out of their daily life, not to mention reminding them that much of what they experience in their life is influenced by their own willingness to try and act.

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