Questions tagged [self]

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44
votes
17answers
37k views

If there is no soul, how can there be rebirth?

Anatta is often described as "not-self" which I understand to mean that our identities are illusions. But it's also described as "soullessness" which I think implies that there is no mind other than ...
15
votes
14answers
2k views

If anatta is a reality, then how do you explain Volition or Will?

I'm just trying to understand the concept of anatta better here. Buddhism tells me there is the concept of no-self (anatta), and even the so called conditional self is actually an illusion that arises ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

What are examples of identity-view?

Identity view (sakkāya-diṭṭhi) is the first of the ten fetters. The "eradication" of identity-view is important towards enlightenment. Presumably, "eradication of identity-view" is more than simply ...
11
votes
13answers
1k views

If there is no self, why do anything?

My limited understanding of Buddhism has already helped me in many ways and I am very glad to have found it. With that said, I have always wondered about this title question. If there is no 'I', ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

As per buddism, how is it possible to leave behind my obsession with drugs?

I don't want to consult any doctor about my obsession. I do not even want to speak about it to my family and friends. I wish to get an answer tailor-made for me about my obsession with getting dead-...
10
votes
3answers
283 views

What is it that is re-incarnated ? [duplicate]

I have been reading Mahayana philosophy. It proposes non-self and that self does not exist in the 5 aggregates. If the self/atman does not exist, what is that is re-incarnated? How can nothing ...
9
votes
4answers
662 views

If there is no soul or self, why did the Buddha speak of his past lives?

How is it possible that he had past lives and how did he know they were his? What defines them as his?
8
votes
3answers
171 views

Answering Other's Questions About Oneself

Do all people practicing Buddhism have difficulty answering questions like these: What gives your life meaning? What do you like about yourself? Somebody asked me these questions, and I am having a ...
8
votes
5answers
225 views

Did the Buddha ever delve on the dangers of one's own spirtual achievements feeding the ego?

This question came up when I really thought back on both my and many others' spiritual journey. In the New Age community, especially, the sense of viewing things as illusions and making progress in ...
8
votes
4answers
878 views

How does an ālaya-vijñāna work?

And in particular, is it eternal, unchanging and like any other formulation for a soul that we might have seen, in say Christianity or Hinduism? This particular idea, that ālaya-vijñāna is like a ...
7
votes
15answers
1k views

If there's no “self” then why should I care about the future lives and nirvana?

English is my second language. If there's no "self', and "I am" is just a "flow" or "mix" of information (dharma, karma, etc.); and if, when I die, "I" (body, illusory self, soul) will die but this ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Did the Buddha discover jhana by himself?

I was reading Ajahn Brahmavamso's book 'The Jhanas' (available freely online) in which he says that the Buddha discovered Jhanas by himself, and what Alara Kalama and Uddakha Ramaputta taught, were ...
7
votes
9answers
220 views

Are all forms of Dukkha related to a sense of self?

A few days ago I started reading books about Paticcasamuppada because I realized how little and shallow was my understanding on this capital matter. Despite getting the gist of it, I still have ...
6
votes
9answers
687 views

Why is “I have no self” a wrong view?

In the Sabbasava Sutta (MN2), the view that "I have no self" is listed as one of the six wrong views and one who holds this view will not be freed from suffering. Questions: Why is "I have no self" ...
6
votes
8answers
766 views

Hesitation between Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta

I hesitate between Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. Buddhism pleases me very much for its willingness to seek an end to suffering, being depressed it speaks to me a lot. But intellectually, ...
6
votes
4answers
363 views

Is it helpful to avoid first person pronouns when speaking and writing?

"There's no 'I' in team" is an aphorism that promotes the selfless group effort, but what about first person pronouns from a Buddhist perspective such as 'I', 'me', 'mine', and 'my'. I am also ...
6
votes
5answers
462 views

How to view people with metta and karuna?

There are definitions of metta and karuna here: What are metta and karuna? There's a metta-bhavana meditation. I'm wondering how to practice these socially, though, e.g. as a lay person when talking ...
5
votes
9answers
3k views

How to live life after acknowledging anatta?

I acknowledge that there is no-self. But now I don't know what to do. Previously I was driving a bus called life. Now I am no more the driver because according to anatta , I am not the driver. Since ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

If there is no self how can Nirvana be described as bliss?

I've heard Nirvana described as a state of bliss, but if there is no self then how can it be described as bliss when nobody is there to experience it?
5
votes
5answers
612 views

Reconciliation of Past Sins

If a person has murdered someone: ie. A fellow human being (eg. By directly attacking someone; or by indirect attack- by speech/action ; or by other means such as abortion) , what methods are ...
5
votes
7answers
222 views

How can Buddhism help with bad habits?

I have been suffering with addictions. Addictions are complex. Both that I suffer from are in abatement. I am in recovery as they say. I am getting medical support. Besides the addiction I have bad ...
5
votes
1answer
214 views

How to handle contrition

I've hurt a beloved one a lot. I've done something which is unforgivable to this person and the contrition is eating me up. Contrition is, of course, a essential part in learning and preventing ...
5
votes
2answers
93 views

Can anyone identify which suttas these quotes (having to do with the sense of self) come from?

This document contains instructions for ridding the sense of a personal self. I was wondering which suttas (or other texts) the quotes at the end come from: “By rightly understanding ‘I am,’ one ...
5
votes
2answers
703 views

Notions of self in religions that blend Buddhism and Hinduism

I read in Peter Harvey's book an Introduction to Buddhism that there was a syncretistic religion in Bali that was a mixture of Buddhism and Hinduism. He didn't give many details as it was a very minor ...
4
votes
6answers
341 views

Can meditation strengthen the sense of self?

When I practice mindfulness meditation I can sometimes become acutely aware of my sense of self. It seems to go from a dull background awareness of self to a feeling that the sense of self is very ...
4
votes
5answers
173 views

Is it possible to have awareness without a self-sense?

Is it possible to have awareness without a self-sense? Does an awareness presuppose a self being aware no matter how refined or subtle that sense of self might be? Or to reframe the question slightly ...
4
votes
6answers
284 views

Did the Buddha ever define what he meant by “self”?

Added: I am asking this because I am not sure if anything I observe would be considered "self" according to the Buddha. I don't have this problem with craving or suffering because I can observe/...
4
votes
10answers
1k views

Buddhism vs Advaita Vedanta

I understand that Advaita practitioners believe that we have an eternal self (consciousness) that is one with everything but that we are under an illusion that we are separate and through ...
4
votes
2answers
152 views

Was the 'I' gone (for a moment)?

Can someone explain to me this phenomenon that has happened to me? I am not a serious Buddhist practitioner. I used to do mindfulness practice daily (20–30 min on 90% of days), just observing ...
4
votes
3answers
286 views

How do you understand Ananda Sutta?

How do you understand the Ananda Sutta? How do you place it in relation to the Atman or Anatta (An-atman) doctrine? SN 44.10 Then the wanderer Vacchagotta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

Reconciling anātman and ancestor worship/veneration

Buddhism teaches the concept of anattā or anātman. In short: There is no "soul" or "essence", only "processes" within the framework of the five skandhas. This gives the illusion of the individual ...
4
votes
2answers
277 views

What is awareness?

I understand that there is no self; yet there seems to be a never changing deeply seated, unfindable awareness attached to a human body that observes the sensations that arise and pass away. This ...
4
votes
3answers
77 views

Is the path considered or viewed as being selfish?

As i learn more about the path and as a result about myself, i cannot wonder if it selfish or self-preserving. I have a greater appreciation that all is connected and inter-related however it ...
4
votes
2answers
90 views

Can the substantiality of phenomena ever be conclusively ruled out through Buddhist practice?

I can see how one can develop, through one's practice, a very high degree of confidence in the truth of emptiness through inferring from the conditioned nature of phenomena, their impermanence, their ...
3
votes
11answers
671 views

How is it wrong to believe that a self exists, or that it doesn't?

the one place where the Buddha was asked point-blank whether or not there was a self, he refused to answer. When later asked why, he said that to hold either that there is a self or that there is ...
3
votes
8answers
396 views

If I am not the skandhas, then what entity/group of entities am I being responsible for by being a good person?

I'm look more for an epistemological Buddhist answer to this question. If I am anatta (not self because composite) then who is the one responsible for his/her actions? Why am I still responsible for ...
3
votes
6answers
529 views

Soul and Self in buddhism

I've heard a lot of questions like, "who is there to enlighten if there is no self?" Is that kind of question based on ignorance on the difference between Soul and Self? Or does Buddhism deny the ...
3
votes
5answers
214 views

Did the Buddha according to the suttas mean anything else by the word “self” beyond simply the aspect of control/power?

It looks like according to [the Anatta-lakkhana Sutta][1] one aspect that is considered "self" by the Buddha is power or control. Why did he use the word "self" instead of just "complete control/power"...
3
votes
5answers
406 views

Can I say that this question exists but no questioner is found?

Anatta is beautifully described here. The following quote sums up the idea of no self: "Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found; The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there; Nibbāna is, ...
3
votes
6answers
330 views

Did the Buddha leave room for the possibility of a self?

Did the Buddha teach that a self or soul (whether permanent and fixed or impermanent and changing) cannot be found, did he teach that it cannot exist, or what?
3
votes
3answers
292 views

Is the Buddhist path one of 'selfless offering' or 'inner kindness'?

Just expanding on this answer is the Buddhist path one of 'selfless offering of oneself and efforts' or of 'inner kindness' i.e. kindness to oneself. Or is it both or neither. I've come across both ...
3
votes
3answers
102 views

Did I exist ? Am I existing or Will I exist?

In Potthapada Sutta Buddha asks Citta similar question. "Suppose they were to ask you: 'Did you exist in the past? Did you not not exist? Will you exist in the future? Will you not not exist? Do ...
3
votes
8answers
346 views

Did Buddha ever think about himself?

After attaining Nibbana, Buddha had realized that there is no self. However due to practical difficulties of communication, he had to use personal pronouns like 'I' , 'me' , 'myself' many times during ...
3
votes
3answers
148 views

Is it right to teach other people?

Everyone of us is unique, with different percepts, respective back ground & nature. although Way of living can be equally beneficial to everyone, inhaling & exhaling peace of mind, together. ...
3
votes
4answers
666 views

Buddhists advise against “me and mine” does that include times?

Buddhists advise against "me and mine" does that include times? Do Buddhists really talk about "my" future past and present? If so, what are the nature of those times? Specifically: will "my" ...
3
votes
3answers
92 views

Does Dogen's wholehearted way say anything about the status of memory?

Seems to me that memory is notoriously fallible, whatever we think about the nature of the self. I have a copy, but rather than reread it, I thought to ask, whether Dogen's wholehearted way, or right ...
3
votes
3answers
86 views

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
315 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

What does “Nothing like anything” mean according to Buddism?

I heard "Nothing like anything" from many people. I think a lot over it and finally i got it like "Tyag se he mukti milte h" and i feel it with my self yes tyag se he mulki milte h but i could not get ...
3
votes
4answers
97 views

What advice should i give for a person with self destructive thoughts?

If someone is really depressed and having self destructive thoughts and behavior what can i do to help such a person? Is there a good meditation for such a one? What kind of advice will it be best ...