We have a strong sense of self all the time but a vague idea about what it really is. Then we panic and grab onto what is not self as self and it lets us down every time – it lets ‘us’ down – we still have a very strong sense of self and we need to have – otherwise what kind of being would we be? Continue reading Who is experiencing this present experience? Which ‘I’ am I?
Consciousness in this sense depends on its object for its existence and character, and there are as many of them as there are mind moments. So it’s a collection, aggregate, bundle or collection of things – hence called a skandha… Continue reading What is the skandha of consciousness and how is it different from awareness?
If the sutra were simply saying form is an illusion and so is unreliable and not ultimate reality, why would it then go on to say ’emptiness is form’? Continue reading A Conversation with Lama Shenpen about Emptiness and the Heart Sutra
The essence of the actual feeling of suffering or pain (beyond all the conditioned thoughts and feelings that are associated with it) is nothing other than the fundamental quality of sensitivity that is the Indestructible Heart Essence. When we touch this we touch something that is profoundly sacred. Continue reading How does our experience of Dukkha – unsatisfactoriness & Suffering – connect to our innate quality of Sensitivity?
The question is whether ‘self’ has any meaning in Buddhism, since it speaks so much of ‘not-self’, which is a realization of the emptiness of the notion of self as we normally understand it. There could be an infinite number of layers to our sense of self, each of which would be a different kind of self. The coherent self that is the knower, the actor, the controller of a being is like the kernal of its associated personality, which supports and is supported by it. It is like a hard central core, which changes, depending on how deep into its nature one has gone. Each level of insight causes a collapse into a deeper, subtler, and more strongly held sense of self. Each level of insight brings one closer to what that self is in itself. Continue reading Article: Five Uses of the Term Self in Buddhism