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Impermanence Meditation

Impermanence Meditation. We cannot know the future. Anything can happen at any moment and our lives are so fragile and precious.

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Sit comfortably in a quiet place, free from distractions
With your eyes closed, gently focus your attention on the breath
With each exhale breath, feel your hips, thighs, and feet settle into your seat a bit more With each inhale breath, feel a slight lengthening of you spine, a lift through the crown of your head

Notice into the movement of the breath, and the subtle movement of the body
Each supporting the other in holding you upright, yet grounded

You are relatively still, but there is always movement present
Always change. Always process.
Always an ebb and flow.
Notice the continual presence of change in your breath, and in your body

(pause 3 breaths)

And now silently say to yourself, “my death is certain”
As you speak the words, remain aware of your breath and your body
Notice any change, tightness, tension,
And use exhale breath to release it and let it go

Just as the breath rises and falls
Every single thing in this world comes into existence, stays for a while, and then dissipates again
You are not exempt from this natural order of things
This natural ebb and flow
You are part of this cycle
And you too, will someday no longer be here

As you contemplate this, stay present with body and breath
Stay tall, but relaxed
At ease in your shoulders, your belly, your hips

(pause 3 breaths)

And now silently say to yourself, “the time of my death is uncertain”
As you speak these words, notice any changes in your body, or a response through the breath
Take care to continue breathing patiently, fully
Take care to allow the body to soften

We cannot know the future
Anything can happen at any moment
And our lives are do fragile, and precious

As if with a flash of lightning, this one life could end at any moment
As you contemplate that reality,
Note what’s happening in your body, and with your breath

Choose ease, and a sense of freedom
To control is futile, so we choose instead to go with the flow
In this moment, recognize the flow of the breath itself
And generate a deep deep gratitude for the fact that you are here, healthy and well

You cannot know when it will all disappear
So rejoice, for this opportunity, this one breath

(pause 3 breaths)

And then say silently to yourself,
“the only thing that can help me at the time of my death will be my own mind”
And just notice, is there a reaction in the body, or in the breath?

Impermanence Meditation

Recall that no matter how many friends you have,
no matter how many people love you,
no matter the family gathered around,
None of these people can go with you at the time of your death
When it’s time, you will leave this world on your own

Recall that no matter how many things you have accumulated
No matter how much money you have in the bank
No matter how much you’ve surrounded yourself with the comforts of this world,
None of it can go with you, when it’s time for you to leave this world

The only thing that can help you in that moment will be your stability of mind
Your clarity of mind. Your ability to be present, patient, self-compassionate and wise.

Sit with those thoughts, notice how it feels in your body
And allow it to develop within you, a bit of a sense of urgency

(pause 3 breaths)

The opportunity you have to work on strengthening your mind
Is nowhere other than right here, right now

The opportunity you have to live a meaningful life
Is nowhere other than right here, right now

The opportunity you have to be kind, to make amends, to give thanks, to be present,
Is nowhere other than right here, right now

(pause 3 breaths)

Contemplate how it is that you would live each day
If you truly believed, with your whole body,
That each breath could possibly be your last

(pause 3 breaths)

Contemplate the effort that you would place on mindfulness, meditation, and your mind
If you truly believed, with your whole body
That only your mind could save you at the moment of your death

(pause 3 breaths)

And finally, recognize that you are doing exactly what you should be doing
Right now, right here

Rejoice in this time you’ve spent meditating
Rejoice in importance you’ve given to mindfulness
Rejoice in this opportunity, this moment, this breath.


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