Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 58 – The Satipatthāna Sutta: Impermanence


This week on the Insight Hour Podcast, Joseph looks at The Satipatthāna Sutta’s teachings on the foundation of awakening, the understanding of impermanence.

Listen to the last part of this talk here – The Satipatthāna Sutta: Concentration And Contemplation

Show Notes

Doorway to Awakening (Opening) – Joseph discusses the second refrain of the Sattipatana Sutta which asks us to contemplate the nature of arising and passing away. He shares teachings from The Buddha and other contemplative masters around the insight gained through the contemplation of the impermanence of each object of awareness.

“Not seeing the arising and passing away of phenomena is ignorance. Seeing all phenomena as impermanent is the doorway to all the stages of insight into the different stages of awakening. “ – Ledi Sayadaw

Becoming Disenchanted (9:40) – How does looking at the truth of our experience radically change the way we live? Joseph answers this question and looks into the nature of our attachments and illusions. We are offered practices for seeing the truth of impermanence in our lives.

“We so much have this illusion of stability, it is precisely through the contemplation with impermanence that we break through that illusion. It radically reshapes our understanding of reality.” – Joseph Goldstein

The Flow of Change (26:30) – When we notice the flow of change in all things, we see clearly for ourselves that not a single experience lasts for more than a moment before things move on. Joseph reflects on the different way that we interact with the world once we see these changes happening on a regular basis.

Listen to Jack Kornfield’s exploration of the truth of impermanence on Ep. 1 of the Heart Wisdom Podcast

Stream Entry (36:05) – In the Theravada Buddhist tradition, the deep understanding of impermanence is a distinctive feature of what they call Stream Entry, which is considered to be the first stage of awakening. Joseph closes with a reflection on Stream Entry and the value of recognizing impermanence at any stage of our spiritual journey.

“Maybe we won’t have attained Stream Entry, but we get a taste of the quality of freedom. In those moments when we are really seeing the momentary change, the mind is not grasping.” – Joseph Goldstein

Image via Oliver.zs