Sunday, August 28, 2011

Meditating and the "I"

The Dish points out that: "Mark Vernon questions the merits of Buddhism as interpreted by the West:
[I]n meditation, Buddhism offers a therapy that tackles the hyper-individualism of today by stressing the instability and dissolution of the self. Only, it seems to me that is not true. Whilst it may be very hard to say what an ‘I’ is – and it is surely multiple and porous – it is foolish to rush to concluding there’s no ‘I’ at all. It is less reactionary, surely, to rest with the notion that we are something of a mystery to ourselves – a mystery deepened in meditative analysis, not dissolved in it."
As a novice meditator, this rings true to me. I haven't been able to wrap my mind around many Buddhist concepts, and the idea that the self doesn't exist is top among them. I like and appreciate that everyone is simply a mystery to themselves, with lots of unquestioned assumptions and cultural conditionings that meditation can help point out to you, but as soon as you accept this, the mystery deepens as you start to question what comes after you strip away your assumptions. There's no easy answer and I suspect that what answer there is is different for each one of us.

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