cet enseignement

A question arises: Why have a teaching on impermanence among the events celebrating Dhagpo’s fortieth anniversary? Because these are forty years of training in “inner wealth[1]” that we are celebrating. And one of the means of cultivating inner wealth is by contemplating impermanence. Gratitude for impermanence! Can we say it? Why not; it is also thanks to this that the forty years of Dhagpo’s development have been possible.

Impermanence is not an object of reflection, or an idea, or a notion. Impermanence is a reality, but a reality that we have a hard time integrating. Many of our difficulties are born from our denial of impermanence. Often, we aren’t aware of impermanence until it imposes its presence through loss or separation. In fact, to put it frankly, we don’t like impermanence.

And yet impermanence has thousands of facets: it rings the death toll but it is also the guarantee for any possible change. It allows for transformation, from the most unpredictable to the most potentially rich. Impermanence is at the heart of phenomena: “The impermanence of each moment allows for the fact that, from moment to moment, the universe is not the same.[2]” Each particle of matter and each moment of mind, which, instantaneously, metamorphoses without cease. Subtle impermanence renders things fluid beyond even our ability to perceive it. It is, in fact, our resistance to impermanence that solidifies and crystallizes the experience that we have of things. Not accepting impermanence creates, de facto, suffering (and doubtless much more than we imagine).

Thus we have only good reasons to make an ally of impermanence—a friend, an accomplice. Gampopa affirms, “Understanding that all conditioned things are ephemeral; this is what revives our confidence, supports our courage, delivers us quickly from attachment and aversion, and helps us to directly perceive the equality of all things.”

So this is why a course on impermanence on the occasion of Dhagpo’s fortieth anniversary proved only natural. We asked Dongsung Shabdrung Rinpoche to transmit this teaching; particularly erudite, he seemed to us perfectly apt to explain in depth a subject which we have certainly considered numerous times. Through Rinpoche’s teaching, we will study impermanence in all its aspects and all its states. And something tells me this won’t be the last time.


[1] Karmapa Thaye Dorje: “True wealth is born from the appreciation of all things, no matter what happens in life. True wealth comes from inner wealth.”

[2] Djé Gampopa in The Jewel Ornament of Liberation