Stepping out of self-deception
October 17, 2010, 7:20 am
Filed under: Quotes | Tags:

I attended a Day of Mindfulness yesterday, with Rodney Smith, author of stepping out of self-deception–the buddha’s liberating teaching of no-self. What a wonderfully peaceful time it was, listening to Rodney speak, meditating as a group, eating together in silence, and hearing his answers to a few questions.

I’ve just started reading this book, and found this statement from the Introduction to be particularly enlightening:

“Spiritual practice is stepping out of the assumed reality of “me” by understanding what the “me” is and withdrawing energy from its perceptual fixations. The Buddha made the realization and integration of anatta* central to his teaching. We are without separate existence; that is a fact. When we align all our practices and efforts with this fact, the spiritual path becomes quite simple and transforms everything we do. All the monasteries, renunciations, restraints, skillful means, the full-lotus position, and nose-tip awareness, all of it, has only this intended purpose. An essential point will be stated many times in different ways throughout this book, and this is that we must be very careful not to carry the assumption of separation within the practices that have the intended purpose of stepping out of self-deception. If we do, we will be reinforcing our egoic conditioning and move in the opposite direction of the freedom of the Buddha.”

*The term anatta means no permanently abiding self or soul, and is at the heart of the Buddha’s teaching.

As I read through his book, I will continue to quote Rodney on this blog.

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