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Emptiness and Anatta, Buddhist Philosophy

In Buddhist philosophy the sense of ‘me’ is seen as illusory. It’s not so much that we have to get rid of ego, it’s that ego never existed the way it appears to exist. And that insight will, when deeply felt and meditated on, create more flexibility and even – in the Buddhist view – ultimately get rid of the whole cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

In Mahayana Buddhism (Tibetan, Zen) this insight is expanded to include all that we experience and is called ‘emptiness‘. In Theravada Buddhism, the only surviving school of ‘Hinayana’ Buddhism, it is referred to as ‘anatta’ – no-self.

Vaibhasika – Buddhist Philosophy Quiz

The Vaibhasika are the first of the four Buddhist schools recognized by the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. They are seen as a Hinayana school, i.e. they don't aim at becoming a Buddha but 'merely' an arhat. The result is that one does attain liberation, but can't help all sentient beings do the same.In some ways the [...]

Books on emptiness

Best Books on Emptiness / No-Self doctrine in Buddhism

I have studied Sunyata (emptiness) for over a decade. I have received teachings, read transcripts and meditated on the topic. Emptiness is a topic that I find deepens with time. Each time I look at the topic, I find new levels, new nuances and more application to my daily life. The books that follow are the [...]

Is suffering something to be avoided? Do we have to want to leave cyclic existence as Buddhists? Most people aren't really driven to leave cyclic existence. Traditionally most Buddhists were only invested in getting a good next rebirth - you know, by ethics and generosity. So if you can live with that option, you're still [...]