Home » Embracing Change, Letting Go, and Finding True Peace: The Path to Liberation in Buddhism

Embracing Change, Letting Go, and Finding True Peace: The Path to Liberation in Buddhism

by Surya Narayan
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The Buddha taught three fundamental traits, known as ti-lakkhaṇa, that are applicable to all aspects of existence in Samsāra: impermanence (anicca), unsatisfactoriness (dukkha), and non-self or selflessness (anatta). Understanding these qualities is crucial because it opens the door to ultimate freedom and peace.

Impermanence (things always change)

The Buddha said that everything in life is constantly changing. Nothing stays the same. This means that anything we see, hear, feel, or experience will eventually come to an end. Even the Buddha’s last words emphasized the importance of understanding that all things are temporary. By noticing the small moments of change, like how a thought or a feeling arises and then passes away, we can see the impermanence of everything.

Unsatisfactoriness (nothing brings lasting happiness)

The Buddha also taught that no matter how hard we try, nothing in life can bring us permanent happiness. This is because everything is impermanent. Holding onto things or trying to make them stay the same only leads to suffering. For example, if we become attached to a person or a possession, we will feel unhappy when we lose or separate from it. The Buddha encouraged letting go of our attachments to find freedom from suffering.

Non-self or selflessness (no permanent identity)

The Buddha said that the idea of having a fixed and separate identity is an illusion. In everyday life, we often see ourselves as separate from others with our own desires, preferences, and possessions. But the Buddha taught that this is not true. Through deep concentration and insight, we can see that there is no permanent self or soul. Instead, our experiences and thoughts arise and pass away, connected to everything else in the universe.

Understanding and experiencing impermanence, satisfactoriness, and Non-self or selflessness is key to finding freedom and peace. When we recognize that everything is always changing, we can let go of attachments and find contentment. By understanding that nothing in life brings lasting happiness, we can stop striving for things that cannot fulfill us. Finally, by realizing that we don’t have a fixed self, we can break free from the illusion of separation and live with compassion and interconnectedness. These teachings require patience and effort, but they lead to the ultimate goal of liberation from suffering and finding true peace within ourselves.

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