Annica (impermanence), Dukkha (suffering), and Anatta (selflessness) are three central concepts in Buddhist philosophy that are interrelated and interconnected. These concepts provide a framework for understanding the nature of existence, the causes of suffering, and the path to liberation.
Annica, or impermanence, is the idea that all phenomena are constantly changing and in a state of flux. Nothing in the world, including ourselves, is permanent or unchanging. Everything is subject to birth, decay, and death. This impermanence is not limited to physical objects but also applies to our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions. By recognising and accepting the impermanence of all things, we can cultivate a deeper sense of equanimity and learn to let go of attachment and aversion.
Dukkha, or suffering, is a fundamental aspect of the human condition. It is the result of our attachment to impermanent things and our desire for them to be otherwise. Suffering can take many forms, from physical pain to emotional distress and existential angst. Buddhism teaches that suffering can be overcome by developing insight into its causes and learning to let go of attachment and craving. By embracing the impermanence of all things, we can begin to break free from the cycle of suffering.
Anatta, or selflessness, is the idea that there is no permanent, unchanging self or soul. This means that there is no essential “I” or “me” that exists independently of our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions. Instead, our sense of self is constantly changing and arises from our experiences and conditioning. By recognising the self as a process rather than a fixed entity, we can begin to break free from the illusion of a separate self and develop a deeper sense of interconnectedness with all things.
Together, these three concepts provide a framework for understanding the nature of existence and the path to liberation. By recognising the impermanence of all things and the suffering that arises from attachment and craving, we can begin to cultivate a deeper sense of equanimity and learn to let go of our attachment to a fixed sense of self. By embracing the selflessness of all things, we can begin to develop a deeper sense of interconnectedness and compassion for all beings.