Buddhist Philosophy › Selflessness
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Texts on the subject of selflessness (anātman; bdag med):
- A Step-by-Step Meditation on the Definitive Meaning of the Great Middle Way by Khenpo Petse Rinpoche
The revered Dzogchen teacher Khenchen Pema Tsewang Rinpoche here offers a practical, step-by-step instruction on contemplating individual selfessness and phenomenal identitylessness as a means to to arrive at non-dual wisdom beyond the conceptual mind—the nature of the Great Middle Way.
In this short text, Mipham Rinpoche succinctly explains what is meant by the self of the individual (pudgalātman; gang zag gi bdag) and the 'self' (or identity) of phenomena (dharmātman; chos kyi bdag), and he describes how to become certain as to the non-existence of them both. The author also highlights the importance of distinguishing between a more superficial, conceptual understanding and a genuine, non-conceptual realization of ultimate reality.
Extracted from Gateway to Learning (mKhas 'jug), this section on the selflessness of the individual (gang zag gi bdag med) explains the absence of any permanent, unitary, independent and all-pervading self, either identical to or distinct from the five aggregates (pañcaskandhā; phung po lnga).
Mipham Rinpoche elaborates on the practice that he introduced in The Wheel of Analytical Meditation (dpyad sgom 'khor lo ma) by offering further instruction on contemplating how the five aggregates are multiple, impermanent, painful and devoid of self.
Composed in a single day in 1891, this celebrated verse text offers a practical guide to meditating analytically on the multiplicity, impermanence, suffering nature and selflessness of the aggregates, as an antidote to the mental afflictions (kleśa; nyon mongs).