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Buddhadharma : Spring 2016
spring 2 0 1 6 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 11 first thoughts stop Worrying about your self Instead of struggling over self and no-self, says Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, just relax and be kind. I don’t think you need to or that you can detach from the self. You would have to find it first. And because it continues to change with so-called “outer” experience, I don’t think that will happen. Try thinking of self as just being and responding to the world around you with intelligence. You are a part of the great nature of infinite interdependence. In this way you are not the same or separate from anything. You can’t separate your aware- ness from life around you. Therefore you can’t say you are independent or separate from other. And yet, you can’t really say you are the same, either. So how can you “get rid” of such a self? This is what we learn from the great teachers such as Nagarjuna. We can study and do the contemplations on no-self—they are incredibly powerful. But ultimately, understanding who you are is a felt expe- rience, and a very natural one. As you respond to the world around you, you can share your experience of being human with others. You can share your joys, sorrows, challenges, and questions, just as you are doing. Just because you can’t find a singu- lar, permanent, or independent self doesn’t mean things don’t function. The functional self responds to life. “Functional” means that things move, and they move because they are not singular, permanent, or inde- pendent. If they were not in relationship— if they existed in a particular way—there would be no movement at all. Everything would be inert. So don’t worry about the self so much, and just respond to others with kindness. This will be a great kindness to your “self” as well because you won’t feel a need to see your “self” as a problem, so to speak. Then who cares about the self that you can’t even find upon investigation! You will be too busy enjoying your place in a universe of infinite contingency to worry about this sin- gular, separate thing you can never find. FROM ELIzABEThMATTISNAMGyEL.COM, DECEMBER 6, 2015 Jedi mindfulness According to Matthew Bortolin, using the Force begins with simply paying attention. The Star Wars saga begins with mindful- ness and concentration. Jedi Master Qui- Gon Jinn reminds Obi-Wan, his Padawan, 3-d printinG by muckychris WWW.muckychris.com The Dalai Lama Sharon Salzberg Thich Nhat Hanh Stay connected between issues of the magazine lionsroar.com Sign up for the weekly Lion's Roar newsletter at lionsroar.com BUDDHIST NEWS DAILY GUIDES TO MEDITATION TIMELY & TIMELESS WISDOM FEATURED TEACHERS FROM ALL TRADITIONS Pema Chödrön Jack Kornfield ~and many more The Lion’s Roar Foundation is a Canadian Registered Charity, and is also recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS.