To really see – and fully take in – impermanence, we have to find a “ground” outside of it. And this ground is the nature of mind, awareness empty of any characteristics. Awareness, space and clarity – distinct from the world of phenomena, which thus appears to be timeless.
Finding this “ground” is not necessarily difficult and does not take much time. But coming to it, and resting in it, again and again throughout daily life, is a practice and a process. It is well worth the small effort it takes to remind oneself to shift center of gravity from (a) the small self only to (b) the nature of mind first, and then the nature of mind and the small self. Gradually, it can become very present and stable throughout the day. It seems that a small effort on our part is met by a larger shift. As Sufis say, when we take two steps towards God, he comes running towards us.
In the Big Mind process, we explore the ways the mind (awareness/consciousness) functions on personal and transpersonal levels. For instance, we can shift into the view of the mind that sees impermanence. And we can explore what the consequences of really seeing impermanence may be…
Can I speak with the mind that sees impermanence? Yes.
What is your function? To see impermanence.
Does the self appreciate it? Most of the time no, sometimes a little. He doesn’t like thing to change too much, because he feels out of control. It becomes too unpredictable. He is OK with it mostly when things change in a direction he likes, but even then he is concerned about the unpredictability.
How does the world appear from your view? Everything is always changing, from the universe as a whole down to the smallest atom and quark. The whole world of phenomena is always in flux.
And how does the small self often see it? Human beings often don’t see – or don’t want to see – that everything is always in flux. The changes sometimes occur at scales they don’t perceive – the scales are too small or too large, or too fast or too slow. And when they could see it, they often blind themselves with concepts and ideas which create a filter of perception and makes something look more fixed than it is.
I also see that humans create a limited and rigid idea of self-identity, which functions as a filter for what emotions/thoughts/behaviors are allowed to surface. And they do the same about the world as well. In both cases, there is resistance and suffering when they try to hold onto an idea which does not match the way Existence manifest in the moment. It is very tragic in a way, as they could learn to embrace flow and change – and lessen their attachment to fixed ideas. It would be very freeing for them, and much more enjoyable.
When a human being opens up for your view, what could the effects be? They would be much more fluid in their relationship with the world of phenomena. They would allow themselves to fully experience what arises in the moment, to fully embrace it whether it fits any particular idea of how it “should” be or not. They would be much more responsive, much more fully alive in a way. They would enjoy life – and themselves and each other – much more.
I also see that it would open up for a deep appreciation for what is here/now, because this is all there is, and it will only appear in this way right now. Later, it is different. This moment – this unique configuration of the world of phenomena – will never come back in the same way. When they open up for my view, there may first be a sense of sadness and grief. If they allow themselves to fully be with this grief, it will eventually change into a deep sense of gratitude for what is – as it is.
And it would open up for deep compassion and empathy with all living beings, including for themselves. They are all at the mercy of the movements of the seamless fluid whole of phenomena. All humans are in a state of flux within a larger world of flux, and they create an immense suffering for themselves when they try to hold onto something.
When humans really see this – and allow it to sink it – they often seek and find a motivation for (deeper) spiritual practice. This may allow them to reorient to everything always being in flux, and also to find that area of themselves which is distinct from the world of phenomena. When they find this area of themselves, they can become more familiar with it, clarify it for themselves, and bring awareness of it into their everyday life.
Their center of gravity can eventually grow to embrace both the world of phenomena and that which is distinct from the world of phenomena (which they call the absolute, the nature of mind, emptiness, void, deep silence). This is when they can awaken into Big Mind, first gently – as a feeling – and then more full blown.