As part of the search for happiness, Buddhists believe that there are “Three Marks of Existence”, three “fluxes”: “Impermanence”, “Suffering”, and “Non-Self”, and that human life embodies these fluxes in the aging process, the cycle of birth and rebirth, and in any experience of loss. In other words, you wont find happiness until you’ve seriously come to grips with unhappiness.
Impermanence is change. “Change is a central feature of life. It can be exciting, scary, challenging, It gives rise to sadness and happiness. Everything is subject to change. There is nothing that is not. “Change” and “Time” are the banes of our existence, because they create suffering. Impermanence and the passing of time defines our world–and we abhor it.
Gil Fronsdal says:
“Impermanence can be understood in three ways. First, is the obvious, ordinary understanding of impermanence. Second, is understanding from insight, from the intuitive, direct seeing of the nature of things. Finally, there is the way in which seeing impermanence can lead to liberation.
The ordinary understanding of impermanence is accessible to all; we see old age, sickness and death. We notice that things change. The seasons change, society changes, our emotions change, and the weather changes.”
“Sometimes, realizing that an experience is impermanent, we can relax with how it is, including its coming and going. Other times, seeing that change is inevitable helps us to let go of clinging to how things are or resistance to change. And sometimes recognizing that we are all equal in being subject to aging, sickness, and death is the basis for compassion”.
“Wisdom can come as people age, not just from life experience, but also from increasing awareness that our own lives will end. Opening to this ordinary level of impermanence in a deep and profound way can bring tremendous wisdom”.
Looking into the nature of things and seeing impermanence everywhere, can lead to liberation, freedom and unbounded happiness beyond imagination.