Daily Wisdom / Tibetan Dharma

Egolessness Isn’t Nihilism

Book cover

Egolessness is not the same as self-extinction. We do not cease to exist, but we come to know more about ourselves. Realizing that there is no unchanging self can in fact be an enriching experience. The path consists of working with ourselves so that gradually, by overcoming the various inhibitions, confusions, and delusions of the mind, we start to develop more insight into our own nature.

When we look at ourselves in the present moment, we see all kinds of confusions and defilements in our mind. Yet the possibility of overcoming all that and becoming enlightened is a reality. Our own lives become enriched from having undertaken this journey. So it’s important not to mistranslate this concept of selflessness or nonexistence of ego. To say that we do not exist at all is the nihilistic view, which the Buddha rejected completely.

From The Essence of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its Philosophy and Practice by Traleg Kyabgon, page 97

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