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Question regarding anatta - non-self

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I get why body, thoughts, emotions and sensations are not me - they arise and pass. I don't understand why anatta applies to:

- awareness itself,

- conscious action / decision.

Who is making the decision, if not me? Who is aware if not me? 

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Nobody has had anything to say. So im going to share my thoughts. But they may not really belong here. Cause its not based on any study. Or specific study i guess. And maybe something from reading the little i have about buddhism. I know probably the least about buddhism here on this forum. So thats my disclaimer.

I think that the philosophy of how we define an experience doesnt seem to me the horse that pulls the carriage. But i think it can help. And over time a philosophy i have found for me comes out of witnessing ones experience. And when that comes about its more like a brick house with a foundation. And i think there is probably a lot of similiarity from person to person. But also differences because of the uniquess in ones perception and i think there isnt really two experiences that are completely identitical

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On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 1:44 PM, micro said:

I get why body, thoughts, emotions and sensations are not me - they arise and pass. I don't understand why anatta applies to:

- awareness itself,

- conscious action / decision.

Who is making the decision, if not me? Who is aware if not me? 

Hi Micro,

Confusion arises because people make statements that thoughts, emotions and sensations are not us. They come and go but are not us. I know I have said that many times myself and in a way it is true but not really :)

The first stage most people are taught is the Witness/Mindfulness. That there is separation between us and our thoughts, that they are fleeting unless we cling to them just like you said.

In Dzogchen they use the term Rigpa and say that we are all those thoughts, sensations and emotions and call this movement.

It is all energy/light.

So first we get to the point of separation from our thoughts. It is like we can see them float on by, they no longer attach to us and we find freedom. With increased depth the thoughts become less and less and the silence grows from within. We feel the movement of the thoughts within the silence.

We know this because it is like the waves hitting the beach. We experience it like the waves coming in and then we are back to being lost in thoughts as the waves reside. Over time just like the tide the water gets deeper and deeper until we are that movement, until we are that silence. 

Now outside of our thinking we also have this body. Within the body, when people start to work with energy practices/pranayama techniques they first will notice a little energy within them. Over time this energy increases in depth and people start to feel energy hitting upon obstructions and that is when it becomes ecstatic. With still more depth one will notice that there body is energy. That the body is no different than our thoughts which is energy/light.

So our thoughts, emotions, sensations and our body are all energy/light. Just like a cloud each has form but in truth it is empty. It's true nature just like light or as science has shown atoms to be is emptiness.

The belief in an Atman, a soul according to Buddhism is not possible because a soul is a "thing" that "exists". In Buddhism the true nature of all things is emptiness. Because of that there is no soul that is made up of things residing in some place.

So who or what are we then?

Often when people first experience the light they are blinded by it. It is bright and it is all they can see. With increased depth you start to notice that the light is made up of individual streams of light. In Buddhism these are called Mind Streams.

A post was made in this section asking if all Buddhas are the same. I think this will help explain some things.

Do Buddha now all have different individual personalities? I was always taught that there is no difference between Buddha's and the only reason they have individual names is because we gave them different names to distinguish one Buddha manifestation from another, but to view them as different "Buddha's" is to create a duality in Enlightenment.


There are no differences between one Buddha and another in terms of realization; there are differences in terms of aspirations, and so on., which give rise to differences in sentient beings karmic connections with this buddhafield and that, and so on. In short, everyone who becomes a Buddha starts out as a sentient being, and there is a unique rosary of clarity that continues from the time of being a sentient being through the attainment of Vajradhara which forms the relative basis for Buddhahood.

 

Loppon Malcom

So we are each these mind streams that are made up of light that's true nature is emptiness. Each mind stream has unique karmic connections that the light hits upon that gives us our individuality. There is no "thing" in some place which is what anatta is referring to.

I hope this helps,

Tom

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