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The sense of “I” is the source of all problems

Putting our “opinion factories” out of business

A talk given during Sravasti Abbey’s annual Exploring Monastic Life program in 2005.

  • Our non-negotiables: Dharma-related or objects of attachment
  • Practicing in community life:
    • Watching how this sense of ‘I’ comes up in community life and dealing with it.
      • Accepting our own and others’ mistakes and helping each other to grow in community life
      • Realizing that there is no need for defensiveness, self-hatred, comparison, judging
    • The “I want” mind that crops up in community life
    • “I am a servant to others”
    • Lay monastic: rationalizing to have both samsara and nirvana at the same time
    • Developing contentment: realizing that samsara and nirvana are opposites
  • Questions and answers

Exploring Monastic Life 2005: Session 3 (download)

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.