Before we can understand impermanence, we have to understand permanence. We think we’re permanent, that we’ll always be who we are. This deep-rooted notion of permanence, is like being in a dream. When we’re in a dream, if feels like it’s going to last forever, yet the self we’re imagining is simply a conglomeration of skandhas or “heaps” – blood, bones, memories, emotions, thoughts, and perceptions. Ignorance says, “I think I’ll call this ‘me.’” When we believe the self is permanent, we believe the world and its phenomena are also permanent. We see that things change, but our sense of permanence is pervasive.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, “Lost” Shambhala Sun, November 2010