This time on the Insight Hour Podcast, Joseph begins a two-part dialog on the Buddha’s teachings of the interconnection between non-self and dukkha.
Non-Self (Opening) – We look at the teachings of the Buddha in the days after his awakening underneath the bodhi tree. Joseph discusses one of the most difficult of the Buddha’s early teachings, the concept of non-self. He gives guidance on how we as Westerners can better understand this seemingly paradoxical idea.
“The teachings of non-self are really at the heart of the Buddha’s teachings; they are essential in the Buddha’s understanding of the path to awakening. Unlike the truths and the experience of impermanence or of dukkha, the teachings of non-self are really counter-intuitive.” – Joseph Goldstein
Defining Dukkha (9:15) – The four noble truths that the Buddha taught all revolve around understanding and transcending dukkha. We look at the complex meaning of dukkha and why it is so important in our journey awakening.
“One of the meanings of dukkha is suffering, and that is fairly easy to understand. But how do we reconcile the Buddha’s far-reaching statement that all conditioned things are dukkha with our experience of many things in life being pleasurable? If we take dukkha just to mean suffering then it doesn’t really make sense, because for much of our lives there may not be any particular suffering – we experience many beautiful things and happy states.” – Joseph Goldstein
Attachment and Affliction (14:25) – Joseph reads discourses from the Buddha that explore the interconnection between dukkha and non-self. We look the subtle forces of identity and dukkha at play in our daily lives.
“It is really in understanding the relationship of dukkha to selflessness that really opens the doorway to freedom, to realization.” – Joseph Goldstein
Masking Dukkha (23:45) – We investigate what our reaction to dukkah can teach about identity and the tendencies of the ego. Joseph shows us how easily we can mask our afflictions with the illusion of control.