The Core Teachings of Impermanence and How We Respond to Change Essay

The Core Teachings of Impermanence and How We Respond to Change Essay

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The Core Teachings of Impermanence and How We Respond to Change

"Impermanent, subject to change, are component things. Strive on with heedfulness!" This was the final admonition of the Buddha Gotama to his disciples. (Piyadassi Thera) Siddhatta Gotama who is also known as “Buddha,” was the founder of Buddhism. “Buddha” is a general term for a person who has attained enlightenment. At the age of 35, Siddhatta Gotama had gained his enlightenment through meditation under a Bodhi tree. Through the years after being enlightened, Buddha had spent the rest of his life teaching. One of his teachings was about the Triple Gems. Buddhists believe they have to ‘take refuge’ in the Triple Gems. These triple gems include: the Buddha, the dharma, and the Sangha. These three gems are considered to be a path to enlightenment. Furthermore, “As they progress along the path to enlightenment, they seek to become more compassionate, more generous, more detached from desire and hatred, more focused mentally, more pure of mind, and more spiritually wise.” (Oxtoby, 377) In the next paragraph, I will be explaining the second gem which is Dharma.
The Second Gem of the Triple Gems is Dharma. “Dharma” which is also known as Dhamma in Pali, is a Sanskrit term that is referred to the teaching or truth concerning the ultimate nature of things. In addition, Dharma has three characteristics of existence, which are suffering, impermanence, and ‘no-soul’. These three marks of reality or existence were the dimensions of change that Buddha saw in the world. The first characteristic is suffering (Duhkha) which includes all aspects of the first noble truth. The First Noble Truth was the Noble Truth of Suffering, this had occurred at Buddha’s first sermon about suff...

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...ons. Moreover, “The Maha-parinibbana Sutta (D. II, 85-6) categorically states that those who are evil in character face death with delusion while the virtuous face death free from delusion. Thus if one leads a simple virtuous life one need not fear death.” (DeSilva)
In the end, change is something that we all have encountered and have to deal with during our lives whether it is good or bad. Even contemporary science can relate to this worldview of change. For instance, a Buddhist can respond to the change of climate which correlates with scientific findings in biology and chemistry. Also, when we are at levels of high stress we can consider the fact that mediation helps a more healthier biochemical composition in our bodies. “Existence is like the flowing water of a river or the burning flame of a candle, which is never the same in two consecutive moments.” (Khoo)

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