(In this post, anything in quotation marks will be from The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh, as I’ll be referencing it throughout this post.)
This is part 2 of a two-part post.
“The Second Dharma Seal is nonself. Nothing has a separate existence or a separate self. Everything has to inter-be with everything else.”
My husband Mike and I recently had a conversation on whether/how nonself differed or was synonymous with interbeing. He came up with a great metaphor (no surprise – he has a true gift for creating metaphors.). He said: Nonself (aka a separate self) is what our cup is empty of; interbeing is what it’s full of. Brilliant!
My own working definition of nonself, as it differs but is related closely and is inseparable from interbeing: the more I come to see clearly my nonself nature – that I am a collage of an endless stream of causes and conditions – the more my insight of interbeing blooms and flourishes.
“Nonself is not a doctrine or a philosophy. It is an insight that can help us live life more deeply, suffer less, and enjoy life much more. We need to live the insight of nonself.”
“Nonself means that you are made of elements which are not you.”
Once again, how do we practice with this Dharma Seal so that we aren’t at risk of intellectualizing this teaching to a detriment?
Here’s what I came up with for myself.