Meditation Categories Impermanence of Life

16. The Impermanent Nature of Conditioned Phenomena

Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 16

The Beginning

Take refuge and arouse bodhichitta.

The Main Part

Meditate: Broadly, all conditioned phenomena—tables, cups, and so forth—are created by the convergence of causes and conditions. In the end, all things will disintegrate, none will permanently or unchangingly remain. Specifically, human life is uncertain. Whether a person lives up to 70 or 100 years old, the five aggregates of one’s body and mind are bound to separate, sooner or later.


Cities and monasteries of the olden days, no matter how much they might have flourished, all ultimately met their end and turned into ruins. For instance, the Nalanda Monastic University of ancient India is now reduced to broken walls, with none of its past glories traceable. Many early grand palaces have only remnants left, hinting at their bygone splendors. This is also the fate for everyone’s body and mind—the body is like a house and the mind its resident. The two only come together for a while; eventually, they will part their ways. Having examined this in detail, resolve: I will meditate on impermanence and internalize its meaning from the depth of my heart.

The Ending

Dedicate all the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.