In my post: Principles Against Some Common Fallacies...

1. Buddhism only values 'self-awareness' insofar as it cultivates humility and compassion.

The point here is that 'self-awareness' is not, in Buddhism, a goal in itself. Buddhism is not about developing the self and certainly not about 'finding one's true self'. According to Buddhism there is no true self. A person is a congerie of evolving conditions. Nor is it possible to completely take control of this assemblage. Regarding most of the factors involved one can readily say "That is not me, not mine, not myself." As Thich Nhat Hanh says, "The self is made of non-self elements" and non=self elements are not under one's control. It is the fact of living in a world in which one encounters what Dogen call the "Dharmas that are other than self" that (a) makes it interesting and (b) means that the way that we relate to others is important. However, this does not mean that we are all 'one' either except in the extremely abstract sense that it is always possible linguistically to lump any assemblage of bit and pieces together and call it a 'whole'.

There is no self to be aware of. What one can be aware of is the flow of states, processes and conditions. This yields the sense that one is continually finding out about oneself, but it is not a constant thing that one is finding out about since it is like a stream always changing. Awareness of this flow and change can bring a sense of humility. One can realise that the self-perfection project is doomed. One can get some sense of one's fragility and vulnerability, one's liability to be mistaken, frightened, full of yearning or grief and so on depending all upon conditions over which one has only slight control. This development of humility is Dharmic and important. One of the reasons that it is important is that it is the ground of compassion. If it is like this for me then it is probably like this for everybody else as well. This realisation of how it is for others yields compassion.

Since this humility and this compassion depend upon conditions - in this case the condition of seeing our own human nature - they are not going to be constant. When we see it they may arise. When we do not see it they don't. That is human too. Buddha taught impermanence. This impermanence is not comfortable, but it is real. The truth impresses upon us intermittently, but this can be enough to wake up up.

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ITZI Conference 2017

Blog Posts

Study Grouop

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on November 13, 2017 at 8:04 0 Comments

We had our regular skype study group on Saturday evening. Three people attended including myself and we studied some of Dharmavidya’s writings and had very helpful discussions about subjects such as Buddhist prayer, accepting death and being Human. The next group will be on Saturday the 25th at 9.30pm. This late time is due to the fact that some of our members are overseas in different time zones. if you would like to join us please email me adamdunsby@hotmail.com or skype me…

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ON BEING LIBERALLY DOGMATIC (rather than dogmatically liberal)

Posted by David Brazier on November 8, 2017 at 11:30 0 Comments

Last night I had a conversation in a restaurant in which a person reported the view that the religion of the future would be Zen because Zen was a religion without dogmas. This statement struck me with particular force because at the moment I am in the middle of reviewing a draft chapter by another author on "Eastern Meditation Meets the West" for a future publication. This chapter highlights the cultural filters that ideas have to pass through in order to get a stamp of approval by our…

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Relationship.

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on September 9, 2017 at 20:56 0 Comments

Found this on a Chogyam Trungpa video…

''The relationship between student and teacher is like a dance…

In relating with the teacher, your critical input and your surrendering work together. They’re not working against each other. The more input you get from the teacher and the phenomenal world and the more you develop, at the same time, the more you question. So there is a kind of dance taking place between the teacher and yourself. You are not particularly trying to switch off…

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Reflections on Foolishness.

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on September 5, 2017 at 11:50 2 Comments

I sometimes can’t believe how defective I am!! Whilst despairing of myself the other day I remembered a Shinran teaching that I found some time ago. It really made me think and reinforced my resolve to practice.

It is a Pureland teaching about the depth of our sin preventing us from being genuinely good. Our efforts to be decent, caring beings are always based in and therefore contaminated by our self centredness, greed hatred and delusion. This is due to the…

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