Discussions of self in Buddhism invariably slip into metaphysical arguments about its existence or non-existence. Followers of the Buddha, it is often claimed, assert a doctrine of No-self, in which the self is an illusion and belief in it a source of suffering. This entirely misses the point of the Gotama’s teaching on Not-self (anattā).
Rather than denying the existence of self, Gotama understood it as a radically contingent and impermanent process. The self is thus a work-in-progress that is neither permanent nor illusory. By becoming aware of this everyday ‘self-ing’ process, we can undermine fixed notions of who we are and thus free ourselves to flourish as the ethical persons we aspire to be.
Through seminars, meditation and discussion, we will offer a positive and dynamic view of self that is founded on a fresh reading of early Buddhist discourses as well as Western psychological and philosophical insights into what it means to be a person.
This event is run in collaboration with the Centrum voor Mindfulness in Amsterdam
- Non-residential course
- Suitable for new and experienced Dharma practitioners
- Accommodation must be booked independently by participants
- A vegetarian lunch, and daytime tea and coffee, are included
- Full Payment required on booking (Deposits cannot be taken for weekend courses)
- A limited number of Bursary places are available for this course
JOHN PEACOCK is both an academic and a Buddhist practitioner of nearly forty years. Trained initially in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition in India, he subsequently spent time in Sri Lanka studying Theravada. He lectured in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, is Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and teaches on the Master of Studies programme in MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) at Oxford University. John has been teaching meditation for more than twenty five years and is a Gaia House guiding teacher.
STEPHEN BATCHELOR is a Buddhist teacher and writer known for his secular or agnostic approach to the Dharma. Formerly a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions, he is the translator and author of several books including Buddhism Without Beliefs, Living with the Devil and Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist. His most recent book, After Buddhism, was published by Yale University Press in 2015. He lives in southwest France with his wife Martine.