The five reminders about the reality of impermanence and karma are attributed to Buddha himself, as taught in the Upajjhatthana Sutta.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) teaches how the practice of reciting and contemplating these 5 sentences daily will massage our deep seated fear and eventually allow us to better deal with our anger, as the anger is nourished by deep seated fears.
Contemplating the Five Recollections helps us to better accept life’s difficulties and motivates us to practice and be kind to ourselves and others.
- I am of the nature to grow old; there is no way to escape growing old.
- I am of the nature to have ill health; there is no way to escape having ill health.
- I am of the nature to die; there is no way to escape death.
- All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change.
There is no way to escape being separated from them.
- My deeds are my closest companions.
I am the beneficiary of my deeds.
My deeds are the ground on which I stand.
Try reciting them three times over and notice how your feelings about them do or do not change in the process of this practice.