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Anicca (meaning ‘impermanence’ in Pali*) is the essential characteristic of all phenomenal existence. Because all conditioned things are of a nature to pass away, because of the impermanent nature of reality, that our desires are doomed to disappointment. Even if we do manage to get what we want -  it will not last forever, and neither will we. It is the impermanence, or transiency of the world that condemns desiring to futility.


Everything is marked by impermanence. We might posit an eternal consciousness principle or higher self, but if we examine our consciousness closely we see that it is made up of temporary mental processes and events. We see that our "higher self" is speculative at best and imaginary, to begin with. We have invented the idea to secure ourselves, to cement our relationship, once again. Because of this, we feel uneasy and anxious, even at the best of times. It is only when we completely abandon clinging that we feel any relief from our queasiness.


  • Pali is the language of the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism, which were written in Sri Lanka during the 1st century BC. Today Pāli is studied mainly by those who wish to read the original Buddhist scriptures, and is frequently chanted in rituals.


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Duration 2:25 mins


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