Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Know Thy Self

It has taken me a while to get the Buddha's teachings about anatta, or 'not self'. Gil's talks have been extremely helpful in that regard, and have helped shed light on my personal experience. 

This morning, I came across this gem from Ayya Khema, in Meditating on No Self:
Yet in order to experience no-self, one has first to fully know self. Actually know it. But unless we do know what this self is, this self called "me," it is impossible to know what is meant by "there is no self there." In order to give something away, we have to first fully have it in hand.
Makes so much sense!

The naive deluded mind hears 'not self', and 'emptiness', and rushes to try to experience no 'I', no 'me', no 'self'. And gets confused, and scared during this paradoxical manifestation of yet another 'self'-created experience. 

Rather, let us spend time with the 'self' as we know it, and let us watch it dissolve under careful observation. Realizing that this 'self' is a pure product of our thinking mind, and our view of the world as a solid, continuous entity where past, present and future collide. 

Sitting, walking, standing, lying down, being present for what is.

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