This is part two of two. The modern Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh expounds in a concise and everyday manner a basic understanding of Buddha’s teachings. This second part focuses on the second and third of the three Dharma Seals that the Buddha passed on to us: the teaching of no-self and nirvana. Thay gives us simple examples of how to practice these in our daily life. He makes it clear how understanding and practicing these basic teachings of the Buddha gives us a basis for clarity and a way of living with strong ethics. I find this essay so timely for each of us to support us in being part of the new earth that is emerging now. Enjoy part two!
THE PRACTICE OF LOOKING DEEPLY
Impermanence is looking at reality from the point of view of time. No self is looking at reality from the point of view of space. They are two sides of reality. No self is a manifestation of impermanence, and impermanence is a manifestation of no self. If things are impermanent, they are without a separate self. If things are without a separate self, they are impermanent.
Impermanence means being transformed at every moment. This is reality. And since there is nothing unchanging, how can there be a permanent self, a separate self? When we say “self,” we mean something that is always itself, unchanging day after day. But nothing is like that. Our body is impermanent, our emotions are impermanent and our perceptions are impermanent. Our anger, our sadness, our love, our hatred and our consciousness are also impermanent. So what permanent thing is there that we can call a self? Continue reading