Aniccasañña – Unabiding Mind


“And Thus Anāthapiṇḍika, much more valuable than all of this,

(and now there is this great enumeration of all the things that I just said which I m not going to repeat again, but you can do it in your mind, and remember that all of this, what I just said… ) 


AN IX 20 Velāma’s Offering — HeartDhamma


It would be much more valuable to cultivate,

(for the time of a finger snap),

An unabiding mind.

And this is Aniccasaññā.


This is usually translated as the perception of impermanence.


But like I explain here in the note,

I take this translation from a-nitya,

nicca is ‘staying’ or ‘lasting’ or ‘permanent’ or  ‘constant’ or ‘abiding’.


And a mind that is un-abiding is a mind that is completely not grasping.



And this is related to the four foundations of mindfulness, or the four resting places of awareness.


Because when we are practicing any of these four, if the mind is simply resting upon these,

these are simply happening.

We are not necessarily conjuring them to come up,


that’s why they’re so wholesome.


We are not forcing the mind to, 

for example:

‘Look at body’

or ‘look at sensations’

or ‘look at mind’…


It simply is… there…


And it’s once we take that step back,

we do not abide in there,

but whatever that experience is,

the mind will simply rest on it,


and it is completely not grasping.

And this is why I wanted to wrap this series of teachings 

(on the four brahmavihāras 

and the four resting places of awarenesss

AN VII 63 Concise Instruction — HeartDhamma

with this sutta,


It is because it shows us this wonderful 

gradual importance of these practices.


And the mettā comes first,

we can put all of the Brahmavihāras in there,

in this previous meritorious act.


Whether it’s compassion or joy or equanimity.


And then, either one of the satipaṭṭhānas.


If we truly practice it with the relax step.

Letting go (Tension and distractions)

bringing up joy, (smile)

Because this is really what it’s saying here.


This is the highest,

and by far, the highest merit.


So whatever can be offered or done,

that very wonderful,

but it’s always very important to remember that,


our meditation practice,

and the state of our minds

is always foremost.


It is always the most important thing,

by far,

that we can actually give.


This is the highest generosity.


And I invite you to do this exercise,

and to notice this in your life.

This does not take a week.

It’s a lifetime thing.


Seeing this chain, this hierarchy of goodness,

of merit.


You will notice wonderful things happening in your life,

when meditation comes first,

when mental development comes first in your life.


The beauty that it will bring into your life,

especially when there is letting go, (unabiding)

and mettā.


These two are very very very important.