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There isn’t one thing that is not subject to this dynamic, not even ourselves. We are all subject to change. Take, for example, our body. When we were children, our body had a certain size, a certain appearance, and we thought in a certain way. Then when we grew a bit older and became young adults and later middle-aged people, our size and our appearance changed, and our thinking changed. In old age, one is different again. Finally, we will die and disintegrate. We can see this change very clearly in the people we know: we know some who have grown very old, and some who have already died.

Impermanence is in everything and while we may think we really don’t have to think about this because it’s so obvious, we do. We have to really contemplate it, arouse our feeling about it, and let that feeling grow, in order to become truly aware of all the implications of impermanence. This will lead us back to the preciousness of having obtained a rare human existence in which we can appreciate the three jewels and understand the dharma. Again, that is why reflecting on the difficulty of obtaining a precious human existence is the first foundation or reminder.

Thinking about impermanence is useful for reaching our goal very quickly. It is like a friend. FIVE WAYS TO MEDITATE ON IMPERMANENCE How does one meditate on impermanence? In the instructions given in the preliminary practices (Tib. ngöndro)10 of mahamudra, this is summarized by five main points which are the key to the five ways of meditating on impermanence. 1. The first meditation is on the changing nature of everything. By nature, nothing is static—nothing in the world or the beings who inhabit it.

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A Coll. of Diophantine Probs. With Solns. by J. Matteson

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