View of a personal identity

21 Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature, the third volume in The Library of Wisdom and Compassion series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Five prominent erroneous views
  • Incorrect speculations or conclusions from incorrect analysis
  • Grasping the aggregates as a self-sufficient substantially existent I or mine
  • Grasping the nominally existent I or mine to exist inherently
  • Mistaken with respect to the apprehended object
  • Coarse grasping and subtle grasping
  • Self-grasping of phenomena and persons
  • Explanation of grasping at I and mine and how that creates problems
  • 20 false views that arise due to having view of the personal identity
  • Analogies to understand the 4 false views in relation to body

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature 21: View of a Personal Identity (download)

Contemplation points

  1. How are our afflictive views like conspiracy theories?
  2. Explain the view of the personal identity in your own words. Why is this view afflictive? How does society encourage this afflictive view?
  3. Why would thinking about the creation of samsara and our responsibility in it give us the energy to overcome ignorance?
  4. How does holding ourselves and others as having a personal identity affect us in daily life? How does it skew how we view ourselves and others? How does it lead us to harm ourselves and others?
  5. Consider how seeing something as “mine” changes the way you relate to it (i.e. my body, my ideas, my car…” How does this idea of “mine” lead to problems in the world, in society, and in your own life? Make examples from your own experience.
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.