In our lives, suffering comes in 3 flavors:
First, there is the physical and mental suffering caused by birth, illness, growing old, and dying.
Second comes the anxiety or stress of trying to hold on to ideas, concepts, feelings that are constantly changing.
Finally, don’t we all have a dissatisfaction with life, because of its ever-changing elements that are without a central core or substance? We crave permanence, but everything is impermanent, EVERYTHING!
But, what exactly is “impermanence”? It is that state that exists because, by definition, time cannot stand still. If time could stand still, impermanence would turn into permanence. What happens when time stands still? It disappears and ceases to have meaning.
Look at this image of balloons, frozen in time at dawn. Now imagine that you and the balloons are all there is. There is no you (subject) or the balloons (object). You are one. Never-changing, frozen. Nothing outside of you and this photograph exists. That is permanence. But is it happiness? Hmmmm.
To be continued … and the good news is, that there is a way out of the suffering.