Anatta - The Impersonal Nature of Experience

The Impersonal Nature of Experience

In this seven-week course, we will investigate the Buddha’s teachings on anatta, the impersonal nature of experience. Insight into the changing and conditioned nature of phenomena weakens themind’s habit of taking things personally. We often live our lives through the lens of self-centered fear and longing. We are so busy pursuing our attachments that we miss how much stress is involved when the mind identifies with thoughts and emotions. When the mind understands the impersonal nature, then it is possible to live without being confused by the habits of the mind. 

Seven Mondays beginning January 13th, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. Optional
sitting period, 7:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Week 7 Audio

posted Mar 11, 2014, 8:58 AM by Scott Jensen   [ updated Mar 11, 2014, 8:58 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Week 6 Audio

posted Mar 11, 2014, 8:55 AM by Scott Jensen   [ updated Mar 11, 2014, 8:55 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Week 5 Audio

posted Feb 14, 2014, 6:07 AM by Scott Jensen   [ updated Feb 14, 2014, 6:07 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Additional Reading

posted Feb 6, 2014, 11:04 AM by Mark Nunberg   [ updated Mar 1, 2014, 3:03 PM by Scott Jensen ]

Self as Verb: Unraveling the Buddha’s teachings on how we construct ourselves

Andrew Olendzki, Tricycle, Summer 2005
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L0iM7V27Ydfd3S5FLyV0mNMf-MqY-IskRUgymkY2HJ8/edit?usp=sharing

The Scale of the Universe

Week 4 Audio

posted Feb 4, 2014, 11:38 AM by Scott Jensen   [ updated Feb 4, 2014, 11:38 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Week 3 Audio

posted Feb 2, 2014, 10:02 AM by Scott Jensen   [ updated Feb 2, 2014, 10:02 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Additional Study Materials

posted Jan 27, 2014, 10:34 AM by Mark Nunberg   [ updated Jan 27, 2014, 4:18 PM by Scott Jensen ]

Introduction to the Integral Anatomy Series, Volume 1, Skin and Superficial Fascia by Gil Hedley

Hang on to Your Ego by Ajahn Thanissaro

Muccalinda Sutta, Udana 2.1, translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Using non-self to let go, by Ajahn Brahmavamso

ANATTA (NON-SELF) by Ajahn Brahmavamso
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Ajahn_Brahm_ANATTA.htm

Free of “I”- making, AN 3.32; trans. by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi and Ven. Nyanaponika Thera

On one occasion the Venerable Sāriputta approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to him:

“Sāriputta, whether I teach the Dhamma in brief, or whether I teach it in detail, or whether I teach it both in brief and in detail, those who understand are hard to find.”

“Now, O Blessed One, is the time for it! Now, Sublime One, is the time for the Blessed One to teach the Dhamma in brief, to teach it in detail, and to teach it both in brief and in detail. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.”

“Well then, Sāriputta, thus should one train oneself: ’We shall not entertain any I-making, mine-making or underlying tendency to conceit either in regard to this conscious body or in regard to all external objects; and we shall enter and dwell in the liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, so that we are no longer subject to I-making, mine-making and the underlying tendency to conceit.’ That is how one should train oneself.

“When, Sāriputta, a monk has no more I-making, mine-making and underlying tendency to conceit either in regard to this conscious body or in regard to external objects, and when he thus enters and dwells in the liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, he is then called a monk who has cut off craving and removed the fetters, one who, by fully breaking through conceit, has made an end of suffering.

Week 2 Audio

posted Jan 20, 2014, 8:03 PM by Scott Jensen   [ updated Jan 20, 2014, 8:03 PM by Scott Jensen ]

Reflections

posted Jan 20, 2014, 4:00 PM by Mark Nunberg   [ updated Jan 20, 2014, 4:00 PM by Scott Jensen ]

Here are some themes for reflection for the upcoming weeks:

1. Notice the connection between moments of stress and the arising of a strong sense of self. Notice that even when we recognize that our mind is caught and stressing, the pain in the body and mind continues to trigger mental proliferation and thus the arising of more stress.

2. Notice how it is that happiness, lightness, and ease arise/are present when self centered dramas are abandoned or not present.

3. Spend time reflecting on experience in terms of the five aggregates (body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness) or six sense gates. This reflection will gradually undermine identification with self view. You might want to use a meditation phrase such as, "Sensations are like this" or "Sensation are being known". "This is not self, this is just sensation arising and passing away, it is just sensation being known." And then of course continue through all of the aggregates or the six sense gates. Remember the "body" aggregate includes the five physical senses.

We Are Constructed Through Metaphor

posted Jan 20, 2014, 11:16 AM by Mark Nunberg   [ updated Jan 20, 2014, 11:16 AM by Scott Jensen ]

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