Mindfulness and Impermanency: The Practice of Acknowledging the Temporary – Arnrow


After reading this article by TV producer-turned-mindful meditation enthusiast, Mark Koberg, I have been reflecting on how my awareness of permanency, or rather, lack thereof, in my life affects my overall day-to-day experiences.

In his account, Koberg shares how a medical diagnosis and a newfound indifference to the career he had been building all of his adulthood ensued a journey towards health and happiness, fueled by meditation and mindfulness. After attending a class on Mindful-Based Stress Reduction, he began to internalize an imperative concept we often need to be reminded of: nothing lasts forever.

You, like I, have probably heard that saying before. However, after reading this article and thinking about what that means to me, I realized that I failed to incorporate its two-sidedness in my understanding. I have always viewed it as a command to enjoy the present because good things—objects, moments, relationships, and the like—are temporary. What I need to remember is that it is not just a philosophy to adopt for positive experiences—though helpful in maximizing the good—but rather, maybe it would be a beneficial mindset to acknowledge in the more negative, is-this-really-happening occurrences in my life.

Once we accept that what we are feeling—anxiety, stress, anger, hurt, pain, or loneliness—comes and goes, our interactions with people—judgment from family, arguments with friends, or breakups with significant others—will eventually pass, and our life circumstances—bad news, recent unemployment, or awkward in-between phases—are temporary, the healthier we become.

Though it might be easy to be disheartened by the impermanency of everything, I encourage you to find comfort, even strength, in that. If we go through our day with the mentality that nothing lasts forever, coupled with the continual practice of mindfulness, the easier it becomes to recognize, evaluate, and deal with whatever comes our way.