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The Self and its Lack
Dates: Nov 15, 2019 - Nov 17, 2019
Days: Fri - Sun (2 Nights)

Instructor(s): David Loy

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Perhaps the strangest Buddhist teaching is “no self” or “not-self” (anatta). What does that mean? How is it experienced? In contemporary terms, our sense of self is a psychological and social construct which, because it doesn’t correspond to anything real, is inherently insecure. We usually experience this as a persistent sense of lack: the feeling that “something is wrong with me”, “I’m not good enough.” Thinking and acting this way causes many problems, not only for ourselves, but for society as a whole. The Buddhist path is about deconstructing and reconstructing this delusive sense of separate self, so that we can experience the world, including ourselves, more nondually.

Learning Intentions:

To understand how our sense of lack arises; how our sense of lack consciously and unconsciously affects our lives and our society; and how Buddhist practice addresses our sense of lack.

Experience Level:

Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.

  • David R. Loy is especially interested in the conversation between Buddhism and modernity. His books include A New Buddhist Path, Ecodharma: Buddhist teachings for the Ecological Crisis, Nonduality, Lack and Transcendance, A Buddhist History of the West, The Great Awakening, Money Sex War Karma and The World Is Made of Stories. A Zen practitioner for many years, he is qualified as a teacher in the Sanbo Zen tradition.