Buddhism (Buddhadasa Bhikku and others)
- According to Buddhism mind is nothing but a complex compound of fleeting mental states. One unit of consciousness consists of three phases -- arising or genesis (uppada) static or development (thiti), and cessation or dissolution (bhanga). Immediately after the cessation stage of a thought moment there occurs the genesis stage of the subsequent thought-moment. Each momentary consciousness of this ever-changing life-process, on passing away, transmits its whole energy, all the indelibly recorded impressions to its successor. Every fresh consciousness consists of the potentialities of its predecessors together with something more. There is therefore, a continuous flow of consciousness like a stream without any interruption. The subsequent thought moment is neither absolutely the same as its predecessor -- since that which goes to make it up is not identical -- nor entirely another -- being the same continuity of kamma energy. Here there is no identical being but there is an identity in process.
- Every moment there is birth, every moment there is death. The arising of one thought-moment means the passing away of another thought-moment and vice versa. In the course of one life-time there is momentary rebirth without a soul.
- It must not be understood that a consciousness is chopped up in bits and joined together like a train or a chain. But, on the contrary, "it persistently flows on like a river receiving from the tributary streams of sense constant accretions to its flood, and ever dispensing to the world without the thought-stuff it has gathered by the way." It has birth for its source and death for its mouth. The rapidity of the flow is such that hardly is there any standard whereby it can be measured even approximately. However, it pleases the commentators to say that the time duration of one thought-moment is even less than one-billionth part of the time occupied by a flash of lightning.
- …The person who has gotten away from self, will he still have self at liberation? This is impossible. Previously one had a combination of body and mind as one’s entity. Then he clearly knew that it was not self, eliminated it, and attained the state that is void of self.
- …..Buddha’s concept of not self denies self in all respects, both the conditioned and the unconditioned, as well as both knowledge and ignorance.
- Buddhism does not have the concept of permanent self. A permanent thing exists, but it is not self. Rather it is only the state of extinction or the condition after all the permanent things have become extinct. Buddhism calls this state nibbana, or asankhatadhamma, not self.
- "Potthapada, I preach the elimination of the self. This practice when followed by anybody, will lead to subsidence of his blemish and to extremely good growth of his ‘purified state’. You will be able to realise perfection of wisdom and achieve fullness with your own intelligence and remain in such a state…… It will be filled with bliss, joy, tranquillity, mindfulness, complete awareness and happy existence.”
- 1) All conditioned things are impermanent (anicca); 2) All conditioned things are suffering (dukkha) and 3) All things conditioned or unconditioned are devoid of self and soul (anatta).
- ….“I think we left off where somebody said he didn't want to disappear, in other words, the 'me', the 'self' doesn't want to disappear. And if we really fully go on with all of this it could well mean that 'me', the self, disappears, that's the end of it. We don't want that.”
- ……“No - the content, sir, no, the content are the leaves of the tree. Right? Put it like that - the branches, the flowers, the fruit and all that, but the root, if we can touch the root and understand that, the symptoms and all that will disappear. That's what, if I understand rightly, that's what she's trying to convey. Is that right?”
To meditate you don’t need to fix your mind on the breath, to deliberately let go of the past and the future, or to silence the thinking mind. Just contemplate suffering and understand it right now, through whatever you’re experiencing. Through that understanding you’ll find that the world disappears. The world in which you used to play will fade in importance; you won’t visit that playground anymore. The playground of the senses, of the past and future, of sex and dreams, will fade away. It happens not because you make it happen but because this is the natural reaction of the mind when it sees suffering. As all this fades away, meditation takes its place. you don’t become a meditator; meditation just happens. It’s a path, a route, and these are signposts on the journey, landmarks on the road to complete emptiness and cessation. It’s what happens when you disengage and let go.
The Buddha said suffering is to be fully understood. Whenever you experience any difficulties, problems, disappointments, or any mental or physical pain, please don’t reject it; understand it. Don’t just leave it alone: contemplate it and understand it so well that it fades, and you realize it’s none of your business. When it fades away, your engagement with the world outside will be broken, and you’ll start to engage with the inner world. you go in the opposite direction, not out into the world but into the mind. Eventually you also let go of the mind, experiencing complete cessation and liberation (niravana=nibbāna), and then you’ll be another worthy one (liberated = arahant). What a wonderful thing that would be.
Soft Bones Lit with a Misty Diffused Light,
Surrounded and Penetrated with
That Still Point,
Between Illusion and Light.
From this Place, I See the Space of Emptiness
That I Have Made by My Dying,
Ready to receive this vision
End on End
Spinning Around the Center of Me
From Which Is Sucked in and Spit Out,
All That Ever Was and All That Ever Will Be.
I Am That,
You Are That.
1. The Art of Disappearing by Ajahn Brahm
5. Buddhas doctrine of Anatta by Buddhadasa Bhikku.
6. No Inner Core by Sayadev U Silananda.
7. http://what-buddha-said.net/gallery/index.php/ - image courtesy