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This blog is created by a Buddhist living in Singapore. He embraces the Mahayana spirit of Bodhicitta, deeply respecting all Buddhist Traditions as expressions of Kindness guiding us on the path towards human perfection ~ Buddhahood.

He likes to post stuff that he had read or think is good to share here, sometimes he adds a little comments here and there... just sometimes..

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“Sariputra, if there are people who have already made the vow, who now make the vow, or who are about to make the vow, ‘I desire to be born in Amitabha’s country,’ these people, whether born in the past, now being born, or to be born in the future, all will irreversibly attain to anuttarasamyaksambodhi. Therefore, Sariputra, all good men and good women, if they are among those who have faith, should make the vow, ‘I will be born in that country.’”

~ Amitabha Sutra

When I obtain the Buddhahood, any being of the boundless and inconceivable Buddha-worlds of the ten quarters whose body if be touched by the rays of my splendour should not make his body and mind gentle and peaceful, in such a state that he is far more sublime than the gods and men, then may I not attain the enlightenment.

~ Amitabha Buddha's Thirty-Third Vow

Friday, November 10, 2006

I caught myself Selfing

Selfing is a relatively new English word, looking up in Google for "define:selfing" gives only selfing as self-fertilization or self-pollination, which are not the meaning we want to use here. Selfing here has to do with actions and feelings related to our self image, and possessions.

Jon Kabat-Zinn (in his book "Whenever you are, there you are") describes selfing as the inevitable and incorrigible tendency to construct out of almost everything and every situation an "I," a "me," and a "mine," and then to operate in the world from that limited perspective which is mostly fantasy and defense."

This is a beautiful description, the first part says that selfing is a constant virus of the mind we have to struggle with all the time, and the second part describes the effects of selfing.

Kabat-Zinn attributes his friend Larry Rosenberg for the introduction of the word selfing.

What can we say about selfing?

  1. Firstly, selfing is often an unconscious act, we are so used to doing it, so that we don't notice it, and it becomes the normal state of affairs, just like water for a fish, or the air for us

  2. It is practically almost impossible to avoid, even when we are aware of it.
    Perhaps, if you forgive me for twisting the original saying of the Buddha, it can be said that a man can avoid not telling lies for a long time, but we can only be free of selfing for brief moments of time, before we are caught in the act of selfing.
    Somehow, in the evolution of man, selfing arises from the our needs to communicate (just count how many times I used I in this post), and protect ourselves.

  3. Selfing is infectious, e.g. seeing something on TV easily make us want something, to posses, to become, or to boost our self image. The advertising agencies are making good use of this.

  4. In selfing, there is an infinite number of varieties of making comparisons:
    I am better, I am worse, I am as good as, I am the best/worst, I can make a better website, I am taller/richer, cleverer, etc. Comparisons also divide the world into good and bad, us and them,
    or just indifferent.

  5. With possessives like mine, yours, ours, his, hers, etc, we build up our sense of belongings, and our self image. Having a fast car, a beautiful home, etc is considered a status which enhances our self image. Possessions lead to conflicts, greediness, and egoism.

  6. Selfing is dangerous, for we then choose our actions so that the result is propping up our image.
    In groups,other people would act to please us, leading to flattery, bribery and conceit

  7. Selfing is the result of
    Self Delusion, the most dangerous delusion

  8. The cure of selfing lies in continuous mindfulness

Surely you can add many more about selfing, but I better stop here, for I have caught myself in the act of selfing, even as I write this post.

This is a nice contribution, I want to share my reflections and experiences too!


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