Skip to content

Posts Tagged ‘not self’

The Buddha on Self and Non-Self

The Buddha’s teachings on the self and on non-self are some of his most subtle, interesting, and unique. We’ll take a look at them in this video. We’ll also compare the Buddha’s view of the self with that of western philosophers David Hume and Derek Parfit. Suttas mentioned in this video: Sabbāsava Sutta (MN 2.8)…

Read More

Quit Comparing Yourself!

It’s said that all comparisons are invidious. Early Buddhism understands personal comparisons as varieties of conceit, of which there are three basic types. We’ll look at those types in this video and consider why they are unskillful.

Read More

Practice Circle: Autumn and Impermanance

We’ve crossed the Equinox, and here in the northern USA where I live, the arrival of autumn is unmistakable. Green leaves dry and are touched with orange, red and gold. The evening turns cool and dark. Soon the lush profusion of life will give way to the barren cold of winter. It’s a very good…

Read More

What Is Dependent Arising?

I said that dependent arising is both very simple, and very complex, but always helpful, and worth the effort to understand. Let me start with the very simple. It Really Is Simple Dependent arising says that we come into the world with certain drives that cause us to build a view of the world and…

Read More

Yes, Dependent Origination Can Be Saved

This post is going to get personal. It can’t be helped. I’ve looked for some other way to write it, but there isn’t one in which I can be straightforward and tell the truth. I’m not going to attack anyone. I might — oh, okay, I will — argue against methods and conclusions, though. But…

Read More

Radical Dharma: A Review

America’s racial sickness has become especially vivid in recent months. Whether it’s the execution of unarmed black people by police, retaliatory violence against police, the disruptive resistance of the Black Lives Matter movement, or the appearance of an openly racist demagogue as the presidential nominee of a major party, anyone who may have supposed that…

Read More

Practicing Non-Self, III: Cultivating the Heart

All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do? . . . For your brother is like you. He wants to be happy. (Dhp 129 – 130, Byrom) This happened to me last Sunday afternoon. I had just returned…

Read More

On Self and Self-Control

The Shorter Discourse to Saccaka (Cūḷasaccaka Sutta, Majjhima Nikāya 35) contains one of the most incisive discussions of anatta or not-self in the Buddhist Canon. However, it is also one of the most thorny to unpack, since the argument it presents is far from clear. The sutta centers around a debate between the Buddha and…

Read More

If Not-Self Then What?

The Buddha’s teachings on not-self truly are impressive, especially when you consider those were times in which people were immersed in beliefs about the supernatural, an essence of self that is everlasting, and a multitude of gods. For Buddha to point out the parts of the body as not self, the emotions as not self,…

Read More

A Secular Understanding of Dependent Origination: #12 Aging and Death

The aging of beings in the various orders of beings, their old age, brokenness of teeth, grayness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of life, weakness of faculties — this is called aging. The passing of beings out of the various orders of beings, their passing away, dissolution, disappearance, dying, completion of time, dissolution of…

Read More