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On Monday, I went with kwamee to IMC for the first time in six or eight weeks. My experience of the sitting was even more chaotic than usual (possibly because I was getting sick; a bad stomach bug hit a few hours later). But there was one clear moment, where I really actually listened to the sound a dry leaf makes rustling on pavement, for the first time ever.

Donald Rothberg was the teacher and he spoke on "Self and Not-Self." (The talk isn't up on the Audio Dharma site yet.) He went about it in a light-hearted way. Going in, I felt like I wasn't particularly confused about this topic—I've experienced in many ways that I don't have an unchanging "self," although I have tendencies and memories and a sense of continuity (or occasionally only a sense that there was continuity that's now been lost) and a sense of individuality or uniqueness. But by the end of the talk, I was confused. Which is probably good. :) Specifically, he seemed to be equating not-self with the state of concentration or flow that some people describe as "losing yourself in" an activity. I'm not sure I think that's the whole story. Maybe I wasn't really understanding what he was saying.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2008 11:16 am (UTC)
This sounds facinating. I'm not real comfortable with looking for not-self; I'm usually trying to avoid slipping out of me. Perhaps if I was sure that I'd be able to step back in, like stepping back and forth through an open door.

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