Buddhism’s Concept of Self

According to Buddhism a person can be viewed as an amalgam of five elements—the physical body, feeling or sensations, ideation or mental activity, mental formations or perceptions, and consciousness.  According to the scholar and monk Wallace, these five aggregates “are in a constant state of flux, never, never static even for a moment, and the self is simply imputed  upon the basis of these psychophysical aggregates.  Gold told the group, “The environment  and our experiences change our brain, so who you are as a person changes by virtue of he environment you live in and the experiences you have.”  The psychologist Richie Davidson called that discovery “a point of intersection with Buddhism.”

A little introspective thought should convince you of the truth of this proposition.  We are constantly changing.  Most of the time these changes are slow and incremental, but there are times when they can be large and life changing.  Epiphanies and insights can produce large changes in our thoughts.

Given that a we are constantly changing, it seems prudent to have the goal of changing for the better.  Continual learning through growth mindsets as well as continual improvement in our life processes through meditation and mindfulness capitalize on our ever changing selves.

This post is short to leave time for thought and contemplation.

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