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Suffering Is Not What It Seems

February 11, 2019

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The Negating Doctrine of Anatman: Non-Self

January 28, 2019


Atman is a mainstay of teaching in the  Vedas or pre-Sanskrit writings of Hindus. One translation is similar to "soul," as an ever-abiding, unchanging nucleus of life. That is a "something" that is indivisible. 

Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have turned this teaching on its head in that he saw true nature, Buddha-nature, as unformed, meaning any dominate point is divisible. Here we have two different classic teachings. 


What we also have in Buddhism is this is one of three teachings, of Universal Laws of Nature which we call, that is has come to be referred to, as Buddha-Nature: awakened reality--impermanence, interconnectivity, and the third, no infinite kernel of self. It is rather that the three processes of change, interactive-connectivity are inter-are with "Non-Atman," Anatman, or Anatta  defined as an existent being with "no self" but inter-acting causes and effects. It is not so much to be or not to be, as it is to be (fixed) or being (process).


In this context I, you, we, and everything is process, we are not static. Not static means we swirl, giving, taking, sharing, forming and re-forming  in momentary interconnecting on the way to other inter-being-ness.


How do we use this insight in our life? Suffering can be considered as attempts to negate the three universal laws. That is wanting something to stay in one form, wanting something to not be in form A but in form B. In addition we can think we are independent and or indispensable which can suggest being above it all, outside of universal causality. 


The intertwining of the three principles or universal laws, propel how we are taught to look at this suffering, wishing to once and for all to be a being free from suffering..



Enter the Four Noble Truths (next week)...


108 Bows,





Many thanks for those who attended our Buddhism Book Bunch last night as we marveled in the writings of women ancestors in The Hidden Lamp.  We will continue to study these writings through May of 2019. 


February is Buddhism Film Month for us, and this year we will watch: Instructions to The Cook: A Zen Master's Recipe for Living a Life That Matters, that documented the practice of Bernie Glassman  in living Dogen's understanding of being a tenzo or "Heavenly Monk".


Also please note the early inviatation to join me on Zen Online Wednesday starting February 6, 2019.

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