you are a happening, not an object

August 11, 2010

Through consistent practice we develop the skill of mindfulness, which allows us to detect with great precision the often subtle self-referential ideas and body sensations as they arise in each act of perception.

We also develop equanimity so that we can allow these ideas and body sensations to expand and contract without suppression, interference, or clinging.

Eventually, contact with the sense of self becomes so continuous that there is no time left to congeal or fixate it.

The self then becomes clarified in the sense that it is no longer experienced as an opaque, rigid, ever-present entity, but rather as a transparent, elastic, vibratory activity.

It loses “thingness.” We realize that it is a verb, not a noun; a wave, not a particle. According to this paradigm, what is let go of is the unconsciousness and “holding” associated with those ideas and body sensations which produce a sense of self. The sense of self becomes a home rather than a prison. You can come and go freely.

– Shinzen Young, “What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You?”

One Response to “you are a happening, not an object”


  1. […] the hard one to wrap my head around some days is the third one: no-self. When I came home, I saw this blog post on You Are […]


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