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- Introduction to No-self: This section provides an overview of what no-self means in Buddhism, why it is important, and how it compares to other spiritual traditions. This chapter will define the key terms, explore the meaning of the falling away of ego and self, and clarify the difference between no-self, not-self and non-existent self. And finally, it will discuss the importance of the so-called beginners mind or don’t know mind in experientially investigating no-self.
- What is Your Most Important Question? What is the one thing that is most important to you, above all else? Is it awakening, love, peace, or something else that brings you a sense of vitality, aliveness, inspiration, calm, and joy? When I talk about meaning, I’m not referring to the meaning of life in a theoretical sense. Rather, I’m talking about the things that give us a sense of inspiration and fulfillment.
- The Three Marks of Existence for Realizing No-self: This chapter will introduce the three marks or characteristics of existence (impermanence: anicca, suffering: dukkha, no-self: anatta) and how they relate to no-self: It explores the interrelated nature of the three characteristics of, how they support each other, and how they form the foundation for a further investigation into the no-self nature of human experience.
- Mindfulness and No–self: This chapters examines how mindfulness and meditation can lead to understanding and realizing the truth of no-self, including in formal meditation and in daily life.
- Mindfulness in Daily Life Mindfulness can be practiced throughout the day simply by purposely paying attention to our direct experience without judgment. Examples of non-formal mindfulness practices include paying close attention to the sights, sounds, and sensations of the natural world while going for a walk, mindfully enjoying a meal by savoring each bite and being fully present for the experience, or bringing mindful awareness to daily household chores such as washing dishes or folding laundry.
- The Five Aggregates: Clinging to Aspects We May See as Self (Form, Feeling, Perception, Mental Formations, and Consciousness) and their impermanence: This chapter examines the teaching of the Five Aggregates and how they are used to understand the nature of the self.
- The Aggregate of Material Form or Body: This chapter explores the first aggregate which is matter or material form or the physical body in the case of a human being.
- The Aggregates of Feelings: This chapter looks at the second aggregate, the feeling tone that results from our likes, dislikes, or indifference to a sense experience. It’s a natural and automatic response to what we experience.
- The Aggregate of Perception: This chapter considers the aggregate called recognition or perception. This refers to the way that the mind can identify the unique qualities of an object and categorize it, giving it a name. For example, hearing a sound is just vibrations, but our perception recognizes it as a bird, an airplane, or something else.
- The Aggregate of Mental formations: This chapter delves into the fourth aggregate, mental formation which includes our thoughts, emotions, and intentions.
- The Aggregate of Sense Consciousness: This chapter examines sense consciousness which is what connects the physical and mental. It’s necessary for a sense experience to occur, linking the six senses, including the five external senses and the mind.
- No-self and Suffering: How Struggling with the Present Moment Re-creates the Self and Suffering: Why we struggle with reality and create suffering. The relationship between no-self and suffering (Dukkha): This section should explore how struggle leads to suffering and how understanding no-self can help reduce suffering. :
- Navigating Difficult Relationships with the Wisdom of Buddha: This section provides practical advice for how to apply the understanding of no-self in daily life, including in relationships with others.
- Ultimate Reality and No-self: The relationship between no-self and ultimate reality in Buddhism: This section examines the relationship between no-self and ultimate reality in Buddhism, including how no-self is related to the Buddhist teachings on emptiness (Shunyata).
- Unlocking the Secrets of Dependent Origination
- Practices for Realizing No-Self: This section should discuss the ultimate goal of realizing no-self, which is liberation from the cycle of birth and death (Samsara) and the attainment of enlightenment.
- Moving From Something to Nothing to Everything and the Deathless
- No-Self and Compassion: Engaging in the World: This chapter explore the relationship between realizing no-self and practicing compassion and engaging in in the world.