Questions tagged [anatman]

The Sanskrit term for the concept of 'not self' or 'no fixed self'. This is classified among the three marks of existence, namely impermanence, suffering and no fixed self. The equivalent Pali term is Anatta.

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How are the three marks of existence experienced through Samadhi meditation?

Could dry vipassana & pure one-pointed samadhi type meditations just be different approaches to the same enlightenment? If one attains the fourth jhana with one pointed concentration does one ...
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Is this just a logic or experience about mind(reality)?

While doing self enquiry kind of meditation(also doing vipassana) there is feel of understanding/experience/logic that make myself convinced(but not strongly) that "me" is not the thoughts or the body ...
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Which path might be appropriate for me? [closed]

I've been learning about Dharma traditions for a while now. In short: I am attracted by the figure of Siddhartha Gautama and by the fact that Buddhism is not based on faith in the scriptures (nastika)...
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Unconscious Grasping to a Self

In daily life, I guess my self-grasping is not very salient; people tell me I'm considerate, open. However, I've written stories in the past, and in my fiction I project these fantasies that are ...
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Does emptiness & no-self work together?

Emptiness seems to be very prevalent in Dhamma after Theravada. But I have seen that it still exists in Theravada, it has just been ignored compared to other teachings. Why is emptiness ignored so ...
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How can there be knowledge of unconditioned phenomenon without any knower?

It's strongly maintained by almost all Buddhists that there is no ultimate permanent knower. They maintain Nirvana is unconditioned phenomenon. My question is then, who knows there is an existence of ...
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What does “self” mean? [duplicate]

I have had the impression that "self" has at least sometimes been thought of as "something" other than the 5 aggregates. What does "self" mean? What is "sense of self"?
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I had a no-self experience, why is it a good state?

I've been meditating for about 4 months without (seemingly) getting somewhere up till about 2 weeks ago when something clicked for me after watching some interviews and talks from Gary Weber and ...
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Is “impermanence” a bad translation of “anicca”?

This article explains Anicca, Dukkha, and Anatta -- and in this question I'd like to ask about Anicca. The article says that Anicca doesn't mean, or shouldn't be translated as, "impermanence": ...
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In which suttas does The Buddha cover annihilationism (ucchedavāda)?

Given what I assume was the predominant view of the time, I would not be surprised if there are many Suttas that deal explicitly with resurrection (as opposed to rebirth which seems to be a more ...
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Is there a real difference between “not-self” and “no self”, and if so, which one is correct?

Just in case someone is interested, this is a question based on this thread, but it's not necessary to read such discussion to understand and answer this question. I'd like to know about the ...
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Personal continuity in the absence of a persistent, unchanging self

How is personal continuity (including continuity at rebirth) explained in Buddhism in the absence of a persistent, unchanging self? Do all Buddhists agree on a single explanation? I am reading the ...
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No more kamma and vipaka for Noble Ones?

There is a (are) person(s) here, who advocate the denying of "person is heir of his action", advocate no-self, for whom who has reached the path already (Sekha). In that case, do, and why, make ...
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If there be no soul or transmigrating entity that takes rebirth, who or what bears or enjoys the consequences or fruits of karma?

How can a religion or school of thought justify or rationalise the proposal that potential suffering could be inflicted on a subsequent rebirth - to all intents and purposes, a new individual, ...
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When the Pali suttas say that it is not the “same” thing that is born and dies what do they mean?

When the Pali suttas say that it is not the "same" bundle of psycho-physical properties that is born and dies what do they mean: do they mean that conventional desginators like "I" only refer to ...
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Buddhism after death

From what I understand the aggregates aren't self but now when a person dies and the material aggregates of his body dissolve then what remains who gets reincarnated ?.If there is no soul then what ...
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Why is there no self in the container of the 5 aggregates?

I can see that there is no self to find in the 5 aggregates. But what about their container ? I have a recurrent thought which troubles me : I imagine the 5 aggregates happening within a frame, ...
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Why wouldn't one say “I am the watcher”?

Now separating self from perceptions for me is understandable. That Ego is just an illusion there is no self. But a question arises... Who is the watcher? Can't I say that I am the watcher or is ...
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If the self is scientifically measured, what is the Buddhist view on this?

The concept of self is important in social psychology: self-concept, self-esteem, self-control, self-awareness, etc. As a science, these concepts are measured under scientific methods, and there are ...
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Does the Buddha suggest a change in practice after the unfolding of Sotapanna?

For two years there has been daily meditation. For 10 months there has been the addition of satipathanna practice and present moment awareness. 4 months ago the self was seen as a creation of ...
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Linking Madhyamaka emptiness to Theravada emptiness through papanca

From the different answers that I have received on various questions that I've asked, I have come to the following ideas: According to Mahayana Madhyamaka emptiness (shunyata), all phenomena is empty ...
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Why the view “I am the owner of my karma” not contradict anatta?

Why did the Buddha advise lay people and monks to think, "I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma; I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort; I will be the heir of ...
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Was something done by me?

All happenings are phenomenon. Happenings are Anatta. Therefore I am not happening neither happening is myself nor am I the owner of happening. Give the above fact , is it true that I need to abandon ...
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What is Buddhist doctrine on the question of counterfactual definiteness?

Counterfactual definiteness is, "is the ability to speak "meaningfully" of the definiteness of the results of measurements that have not been performed." The classic question to illustrate is, "When ...
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Does false self = no self?

My new understanding (based on this post) is that the self is not permanent and is always changing. However, I still can't make the logical assertion that the self does not exist at all. At this point,...
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How does Theravada practice to obtain the direct knowledge of anatta?

In this comment it is stated that the Pali Suttas contain the correct method for manifesting direct knowledge of anatta. I agree, but I wonder what Theravada adherents would regard as the precise ...
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Mahayana view on why Theravada's anatta is insufficient to uproot ignorance?

A Mahayana-practising member wrote this comment: With respect, the Theravada generally has a much more coarse understanding of emptiness and anatta and is confused as to the object of negation. ...
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Need better examples for assuming self to be non-form aggregates

Based on the River Sutta below, I can definitely understand assuming the self to be the body. So, when the body becomes old, diseased and approaching death, one assumes that "I am" becoming old, ...
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Is the self an illusion or is it *like* an illusion?

Recently, in explaining the relative unimportance of the question whether phenomena lack true existence it was claimed that, "the self is definitely an illusion" and lacked true existence. This seemed ...
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If Theravada doesn't posit the selflessness of phenomena, then how to interpret SN 22.95?

This question is closely related to this question and this question and this question. There is a Sutta in the Pali Canon that seems to explicitly reject that any of the aggregates is real or ...
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Does Theravada posit the selflessness of phenomena?

It is generally taught in Mahayana monastic universities that Theravada does not posit the selflessness of phenomena. There it is taught a dichotomy exists between the tenet systems employed by ...
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Difference between Theravada's self and Mahayana's intrinsic essence

With reference to this comment: An intrinsic nature, essence or characteristic that is unique to some phenomena that can be described as that phenomena's self. The self of chair would be that ...
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Does any real existent or genuine person end with parinibbana?

Does modern Theravada accept that no real person ends with the break up of the body of a realized one? That the moment after the break up of the body of a realized one is the same as the moment before?...
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Is this a beginning of anatta? Where to go from here?

After years of abandoning Buddhism and becoming an agnostic, I somehow finally experienced/felt the Four Noble Truths yesterday, or at least the truth of the first three. Then the same thing happened ...
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Is this talk just a convention?

In this question it was said that Buddha said "I, the unexcelled teacher. I, alone, am rightly self-awakened ... I am a conqueror (of evil qualities)." The answer seems to be that Buddha used 'I' for ...
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Is it correct to say that 'one who craves for …' and imply existence of self?

Buddha says in saṃyuktāgama: “One who craves for and delights in bodily form, craves for and delights in dukkha. One who craves for and delights in dukkha will not attain liberation from dukkha....
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As a Buddhist, how shall we make sense of the notion that there is no such thing as a Soul?

The three marks of existence is: Impermanence, Suffering, and No-Self. If there is no-self, then there is no Soul. Our cognitive abilities is the result of the physical (Brain organ) and the non-...
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Is Atma energy?

Someone told me that Atma is nothing but energy which occupies the whole body. When the energy leaves the body ,the body dies. I guess the argument is wrong. But can anyone point out the flaw in ...
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How to regain Enlightenment?

I had the most profound experience after what felt like a near death experience. I believe I was having a heart attack, and after focusing on my body for 20-30 minutes I ceased being aware of signs of ...
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How does *Buddhist* meditation differ from others and lead to awakening?

The practice of meditation is central to certain Buddhist traditions, e.g. Vajrayana, Dzogchen, Zen, important for recognizing Buddha nature. Furthermore, Vajrayana and Theravada traditions assert ...
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Why should I focus on that which is not mine?

I was sitting among my friends when I realised none of them are mine. They will change or perish. I felt detached and disconnected. I no longer focused on what they were saying. I appeared absent ...
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What is eradication of the fetter of identity-view (sakkāya-diṭṭhi)?

I'm asking this question based on this comment and this question. It is well known that the goal of Buddhism is to end suffering. However, it is popularly mistaken (as seen in the cited comment and ...
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How to experience Anatta

Is it during deep meditation when the mind is completely stilled that one experiences anatta? Is the conviction in anatta gradual or abrupt? This question would be connected to the 4 stages of ...
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Seeing there is no subject experiencing subject and object?

I'm energetically trying to uproot the view of self, meaning, the sense that there is a subject of experience. I have read/heard authors such as Sam Harris and Joseph Goldstein say that the self as a ...
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Responsibility in Buddhism

If nothing can be considered 'myself' or 'mine', if nothing is in my complete control (take volition for example), how can people be held responsible for their thoughts, words and deeds, if they are ...
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Difference between Buddhist and materialist views of no self?

This question follows from a discussion on the materialist, scientific reductionist understanding of no self, and was posted in a comment: In what way does the materialist view differ from Buddhism ...
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Does Nibbana mean not self?

I have found a text which states that nibbāna is a description meaning not-self. The meaning of the text is clear. Nibbana is nothing but not-self. Moreover I have also found a sutta(SN22.45) ...
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Showing anatta from modern psychology or neuroscience?

I have heard Ajahn Brahm say in a talk, if I recall, that modern science or psychology has demonstrated anatta in some way. It seems unnecessary to invoke science to validate any of Buddhism, but ...
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How do Buddhists reconcile “Anatta” with Buddha supporting the existence of the Self in the Mahayana Mahaparininirvana Sutra?

In the third chapter of the Mahayana Mahaparininirvana Sutra, Buddha calls the Self real and permanent: Then the Buddha said to all the bhiksus: "Do not say this. I now leave all the unsurpassed ...
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Can we define craving without mentioning self?

Namo Buddhaya. According to the Mahayana Pratityasamutpadavibhanganirdesa Sutra, there are three cravings: craving for the sense-realm, craving for the form-realm, and craving for the formless-realm....