False perception of
permanence arises from conceiving apparent continuity:
Buddha once said: Aniccānupassanam bhāvento
When developing the contemplation of
one gradually overcomes the false perception of permanence...
One cannot easily observe the characteristic of
impermanence, since it is
concealed by apparent continuity: Mind falsely conceives:
"This is the same
as it was before..."
One then wrongly perceives all psycho-physical phenomena as existing permanently, and
correctly as a
perpetual sequence of discrete momentary states ever arising and ceasing...
The stage of Viewing:
By training one can observe the solidity, fluidity, heat and
motion within one's own body,
externally as changing states by noting their beginning, middle, and end.
Examples: Noting the beginning,
middle, and end
of the breath coming in or
Noting the beginning, middle, and end of each step, when
walking back and forth!
Noting the beginning, middle, and end of each thought, whenever
The stage of Comprehending:
One then comprehends this breath, this materiality is not the
same from moment to moment.
Nor is any other
solidity, fluidity, heat, or any motion, the same from moment to moment...
Nor is any observing mind, thought, or any mental state, the same from moment to
Whether internally or externally: All this is only discrete states
always arising and
Such cannot ever be lasting happiness... Such cannot be regarded as an
essentially same self...
Such change is therefore suffering. Such
transience is thus no-self, and neither-me-nor-mine.
The stage of Gaining the crucial
By observing wisely and repeatedly one thus understands, that all
formations, all phenomena,
and all conditioned constructions inherently are permeated with the 3
Insight dawns when noting,
and knowing the Dissolution of all phenomena (bhanga-ñāna),
which gives rise to noting,
and knowing the Danger within all existence (ādinava-ñāna)...
By noting this impermanence of all internal form, feeling, perception,
and consciousness, one can generalize, and extend this observed
impermanence to also be
dominant in all external form, feeling, perception, mental construction,
One can furthermore infer, that all phenomena in the past was impermanent,
and so also
will all phenomena in the future be impermanent. This expands
The result of
contemplating Impermanence is absence of distortion (vipallāsa):
The false perception of permanence actually comes from an -a
priori- false conceptual notion:
"All phenomena are permanent, and endures as the same from moment to
This distortion of perception (sañña-vipallāsa)
- arisen from ignorance - then by repetition
which then later solidifies into a distortion of
also view (ditthi-vipallāsa): One
then perceives, thinks and views: "Formations are all lasting!"
This false conviction have been reified,
and reinforced through an immense number of events
of existence, since a indiscernible beginning, and is thus deeply ingrown,
and imbedded in mind.
However this triple distortion of perception, thinking, and
viewing can be broken all down by a
repeated reasoned observation of,
and reflection on this universal aspect
which leads to knowing and regarding all
formations with an enjoyable
More on this universal impermanence, inconstancy, and inevitable Transience
Anicca (Impermanence) According to Theravada
Buddhism (Bhikkhu ñanamoli)