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Book: The Buddha's Path of Peace

Chapter: 17. Right Understanding: Self-Evaluation

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.39416


The reader may now be asking if the Path is not ‘all about me’, what is it about? The 4th Foundation of Mindfulness provides us with the opportunity of evaluating how far we have journeyed between assuming ‘me’ (the discrete self) and letting go of that assumption. This chapter reminds us to be careful: there is not a ‘not-me’ (anattā) which contrasts with ‘me’, for that would make the mistake of assuming ‘not-me’ to be another object on a par with other assumed (conditioned) substantive objects which include ‘me’. Despite the impression given in some quarters there is immediately nothing more to ‘not-me’ than letting go of an independent discrete ‘me’. An analogy with ‘Newton’s Cradle’ is used to clarify.

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