During this talk, A Buddhist understanding of anatta, the absence of an enduring, autonomous self was described. The Western term “ego” was presented as a process that winnows through all the sensations stimulating the 5 sense doors, creating a dynamic flow of experience that, through inattentiveness and ignorance, is misperceived as something substantial, a separate self. This was related to the Buddhist concept of the Five Aggregates: form (physical sensation), feeling, perception, fabrication and consciousness. Due to the Buddhist understanding of anicca, impermanence
Peter then described the current perspective of “the narrative self”, that is, the primary importance of the internal narrative that is self-creating in the context of relating to others in the world of subjective experience. This description was followed by a lively discussion by those attending of the implications of this approach to life.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk, including a diagram describing the Five Aggregates: MINDFUL SELFING
Next week’s talk will be focused on “deconstructing and reconstructing the self”, to describe how mindfulness practices promote self-state liberation from distress and confusion.