All objects, including one’s life, people, and possessions are impermanent. They all change, degenerate, perish and cease to exist.
If we do not realize the impermanence of things we live a life of hallucinations and dreams thinking things will be with us all the time, and we live forever.
Death is a part of our lives. Every sentient being is changing and decaying every moment. Death is coming closer and closer from the moment we are born.
In our everyday lives, we do not see subtle changes. Only when the change is at a gross level do we notice it.
We need to apply the understanding of impermanence to our everyday lives. Everything is changing! Nothing stays the same.
Impermanence is the nature of suffering.
Realizing impermanence stops us from wasting our lives and thinking we have one more day, one more year, 10 years to make something happen. How do we know that for sure?
We should not be afraid of death, because death is around us all the time and will definitely happen to every single one of us. It is a part of natural evolution. This is the ultimate nature of reality. Avoiding thinking about death will definitely not help.
Meditation on Death is a great tool to realize how precious every moment is. By meditating on impermanence and death one will become more focused on making this life meaningful, practicing compassion toward all, and spreading joy.
You can meditate on these three points:
- Death is definite.
- The time of death is indefinite
- What would really matter at the time of death? Good karma or positive deeds are the only things that are beneficial at the time of death, and that can be carried to a future life.
“Think for a moment: If a man is moving the next day from his hometown to New York, his mind will be thinking only of packing up his things. He will no longer be concerned about his present accommodations, how to fix his oven, or how to make the place he is leaving more comfortable. His mind will be busy packing up the old things, preparing for life in a new place, and planning his new life. His mind will be occupied with preparations for the impending move.
In the same way, a person who realizes impermanence and the inevitability of death will no longer be fixated on this life and will instead put effort into preparing for the future and future lives.”
The Four Noble Truths
Lama Zopa Rinpoche