Tag Archives: not-self

Look at the Three Characteristics in Terms of Actions

“So the Three Characteristics in and of themselves are not the content of Buddhist wisdom, Buddhist discernment. They have to be placed in context, the context of the question of skillfulness: “What are you doing? What are your intentions? …”

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How the Buddha looked at the “What is a Person?” Question

A recurring theme in Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s writing is his stress on how important it is to understand what kinds of questions the Buddha answered, and refused to answer, in his teachings. Many people think his new way of using the Pali word “khandhas” was the answer to the question, “Who am I” or “What is […]

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How the Buddha talked about “Not-self”

§ 128. “Form, monks, is not-self. If form were the self, this form would not lend itself to dis-ease. It would be possible (to say) with regard to form, ‘Let my form be thus. Let my form not be thus.’ But precisely because form is not-self, this form lends itself to dis-ease. And it is […]

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Letting Go and Picking Up in Buddhism (with music of Chris Smither)

The following excerpt if from Living Meditation, Living Insight: The Path of Mindfulness in Daily Life by Dr. Thynn Thynn. Dr. Thynn Thynn is a Burmese born retired physician and Dhamma teacher. She is mother of two and is the resident yogi at the Sae Taw Win II Dhamma Center in Northern California. She is […]

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Some thoughts on talent, success, failure and compassion for ourselves

The ego has many traps, but one of the worst is self-identification with one’s talent. If one self-identifies with one’s artistic or creative talent, this inevitably leads to suffering as the ego’s unquenchable needs and desires can never be satisfied by that talent. Indeed, the world is filled with “hungry ghosts” whose attachment to their […]

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Am I Pleasing Others to Make Myself Feel Loved and Good?

The path of awakening, of liberation, always includes self-observation and self-inquiry. Without them, we tend to repeat the same unskillful ways of thinking and acting over and over again. That’s what is called samsara in Buddhism. In this essay I’m sharing my thoughts and observations on something I’ve struggled with much of my life: a […]

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How Letting Go Helps Us See the Truth of Non-duality

Ayya Khema is a highly-skilled Theravadan teacher who brought a remarkable love and light to her service as a nun in the Theravadan tradition. I highly recommend her book Who is My Self? A Guide to Buddhist Meditation.  It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read on developing deep concentration and insight (samatha and […]

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The Great Freedom of Seeing the Body for What It Is

Here is a very helpful teaching on the body by Ajahn Chah from a talk he gave called “Clarity of Insight.” “The Buddha taught to transcend delusion. The way to transcend it is through clearly seeing the body for what it is.” Ajahn Chah “With penetrating insight you must see that the true nature of […]

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The Unshakable Peace of a Mind that Can Let Go

The following in an excerpt from a dhamma talk by Ajahn  Chah titled Unshakable Peace.  It is a wonderful and deep teaching explaining how to practice the mind that lets go—the mind of liberation and peace. The Buddha did not teach about the mind and its psychological factors so that we’d get attached to the […]

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Kabir-“I Said To The Wanting-Creature Inside Me”-Poem and Music

Here is another beautiful poem from the Indian mystic and poet Kabir. It’s called “I Said To The Wanting-Creature Inside Me.”  May this poem, and the music that follows it, inspire you to empty your life of whatever would keep you from the happiness of being truly present in what you are! I Said To […]

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Do we really believe in impermanence?

In my own practice, I’ve really been wrestling with the Buddha’s teaching of anicca—the truth that all conditioned, fabricated, created things are impermanent and constantly change. It’s one thing to accept anicca as a truism—after all, it’s obvious that all things change and are transient. And it’s another to see something of the truth of […]

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Dhamma and Non-duality-A Theravadan Point of View

“Where I think the teaching of the Buddha, as preserved in the Theravada tradition, surpasses all other attempts to resolve the spiritual dilemmas of humanity is in its persistent refusal to sacrifice actuality for unity. The Buddha’s Dhamma does not point us toward an all-embracing absolute in which the tensions of daily existence dissolve in […]

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The Buddha on the Importance of Abandoning All Self Views

Who am I? What am I?  How am I?  We’ve all asked these questions.  Throughout history, people have asked these questions, and come up with countless answers and religions and philosophies to answer them.  Just who or what is this “self” we all have to deal with? Interestingly, the Buddha does not offer a final […]

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The Thorn in Your Heart

The Thorn in Your Heart Selections from the Attadanda Sutta of the Sutta Nipata (935-939) (948-951) [Translation and comments by Andrew Olendzki] Fear is born from arming oneself. Just see how many people fight! I’ll tell you about the dreadful fear that caused me to shake all over: Seeing creatures flopping around, Like fish in […]

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