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Self or Non-Self: A Buddhist Perspective on Personality - A Six-Class Series with Ethan Nichtern
Originally presented as a six-week course by Senior Teacher and IDP Founder Ethan Nichtern at the Interdependence Project, this 12-hour audio class explores the Buddhist idea of self and teaches practical ways to gain insight into your intentions, habits, and attachments.
One of the foundational teachings of Buddhism is anatta, or "not-self." This concept suggests that no individual has a particular, permanent essence or aspect of their psychological or physical being that could be called “myself." Instead, each of us are made up of ever-changing, moment-to-moment experiences that arise to create an identity and sense of self.
Yet one of the earliest Buddhist texts, The Vishigumagga (The Path to Purification), describes three personality traits; greedy, aversive, or deluded. Later, the Vajrayana tradition developed a system called the Five Buddha Families, which classifies personality into five types of energy; vajra, ratna, parma, karma, and buddha. How can we have a personality without a permanent self? What is the Buddhist view of personality? Can Buddhist personality guides be useful tools for transformation?
Class 1: An Introduction to Self and Selflessness
Class 2: How the Self is Born: The Five Skandhas and Fear
Class 3: Vajra: The Intellectual
Class 4: Ratna: The Prideful Person
Class 5: Padma: The Passionate Person
Class 6: Karma: The Achiever and The Mandala Principle
Download includes the original course syllabus and associated course readings!
$15 for Members (please log in to purchase at discount!)
Ethan Nichtern is IDP's Founder and heads its yearlong Meditation Teacher Training Program. He's also a Shastri in the Shambhala tradition and the senior teacher in residence for the New York Shambhala community. Ethan is the author of the recently published The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and the acclaimed Dharma book One City: A Declaration of Interdependence.