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The Perception of Impermanence —Bhikkhu Sujato

Linked Discourses 22

10. Flowers

102. The Perception of Impermanence

1.1At Sāvatthī.

1.2“Mendicants, when the perception of impermanence is developed and cultivated it eliminates all desire for sensual pleasures, for rebirth in the realm of luminous form, and for rebirth in a future life. It eliminates all ignorance and eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

2.1In the autumn, a farmer ploughing with a large plough shears through all the root networks. 2.2In the same way, when the perception of impermanence is developed … it eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

3.1A reed-cutter, having cut the reeds, grabs them at the top and shakes them down, shakes them about, and shakes them off. 3.2In the same way, when the perception of impermanence is developed … it eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

4.1When the stalk of a bunch of mangoes is cut, all the mangoes attached to the stalk will follow along. 4.2In the same way, when the perception of impermanence is developed … it eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

5.1The rafters of a bungalow all lean to the peak, slope to the peak, and meet at the peak, so the peak is said to be the topmost of them all. 5.2In the same way, when the perception of impermanence is developed … it eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

6.1Of all kinds of fragrant root, spikenard is said to be the best. 6.2In the same way, when the perception of impermanence is developed … it eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

7.1Of all kinds of fragrant heartwood, red sandalwood is said to be the best. 7.2In the same way, when the perception of impermanence is developed … it eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

8.1Of all kinds of fragrant flower, jasmine is said to be the best. 8.2In the same way, when the perception of impermanence is developed … it eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

9.1All lesser kings are vassals of a wheel-turning monarch, so the wheel-turning monarch is said to be the foremost of them all. 9.2In the same way, when the perception of impermanence is developed … it eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

10.1The radiance of all the stars is not worth a sixteenth part of the moon’s radiance, so the moon’s radiance is said to be the best of them all. 10.2In the same way, when the perception of impermanence is developed … it eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

11.1After the rainy season the sky is clear and cloudless. And when the sun rises, it dispels all the darkness from the sky as it shines and glows and radiates. 11.2In the same way, when the perception of impermanence is developed and cultivated it eliminates all desire for sensual pleasures, for rebirth in the realm of luminous form, and for rebirth in a future life. It eliminates all ignorance and eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.

12.1And how is the perception of impermanence developed and cultivated so that … it eradicates all conceit ‘I am’? 12.2‘Such is form, such is the origin of form, such is the ending of form. 12.3Such is feeling … 12.4Such is perception … 12.5Such are choices … 12.6Such is consciousness, such is the origin of consciousness, such is the ending of consciousness.’

12.7That’s how the perception of impermanence is developed and cultivated so that it eliminates all desire for sensual pleasures, for rebirth in the realm of luminous form, and for rebirth in a future life. That’s how it eliminates all ignorance and eradicates all conceit ‘I am’.”

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