Impermanence

The Endpoint of Experience

By Brian Schwartz

Every experience has a beginning, middle, and end. Impermanence is the common thread of every experience. It’s the tail of the thread of consciousness we experience from start to finish.

Therefore anything that starts by default has a middle and an end. It’s only the dimension of time that what allows us to experience it from start to finish. The middle is the core of what we experience. It’s the end where we can get hung up. We have a hard time letting go. Remove the aspect of time, and the experience collapses into a single memory. A memory can’t exist without impermanence. To remove impermanence is to deny the truth of our own existence.

Our resistance to impermanence is rooted in our tendency to cling to an experience. We spend our energy trying to ward off impermanence, but it’s a futile fight. Impermanence will always win out.

You can’t ‘let go’ of something impermanent because it’s already gone. What we need to do is simply surrender to what is - to accept that impermanence is part of every experience, and that every experience is impermanent by it’s nature (including our own life). Remove the aspect of time and beginning, middle, and end exist as a one.

It’s when we deny that impermanence exists, we get stuck. We get frustrated. We get stuck in the movie theater after the movie has ended. At the concert after the concert has ended. At the party after everyone has left. The reality of the experience is over, but we don’t want it to be. To ignore impermanence is to ignore reality.

What we can do is enjoy the moment more fully by being more mindfully a part of it. As the creators of our own experiences, we are the most vital part of every single experience. To discount our importance is to discount our own existence.

Being mindful of what we are doing is the key to us understanding ourselves better.

Who we are is not what we define ourselves to be, but rather the actions we take.

If the ‘self’ is defined by the actions we take, then becoming more mindful of our actions is the path to greater self-awareness and the only way we’ll ever know who we truly are. This makes our practice of mindfulness the most importance skill we can develop in our lives.

Life is what we are given, living is what we make of it.

That which we are not creating is dying. Everything is in a state of perpetual motion. We are always moving towards or away.