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Stepping Out of Self-Deception: The Buddha's Liberating Teaching of No-Self
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Stepping Out of Self-Deception: The Buddha's Liberating Teaching of No-Self

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  17 reviews

Anatta is the Buddhist teaching on the nonexistence of a permanent, independent self. It’s a notoriously puzzling and elusive concept, usually leading to such questions as, “If I don’t have a self, who’s reading this sentence?” It’s not that there’s no self there, says Rodney Smith. It’s just that the self that is reading this sentence is a configuration of elements that a

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Published July 22nd 2011 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. (first published July 13th 2010)
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Reid
I am always hesitant to say that a book may not be for spiritual beginners, both because this is a condescending point of view and because it implies that I am somehow superior in my understanding. However, it is worth noting that this book is extraordinarily insulting to ego, and if one is heavily invested in ego as the entirety of identity, it would be easy to dismiss the book as nonsense. If so, it may indeed be that coming to an understanding of some basic aspects of Buddhist thought might b ...more
Jason
Wow. I've read quite a few books on Buddhism but this is the first one that blew me away. Rodney Smith has incredible perception and is able to explain the Buddhist eightfold path in a unique and extremely relevant way. I know these are insights that will mean more and more as practice deepens. He really gets to the heart of what is truly liberating about the Buddhist approach to life. I must admit that I tried reading the first chapter several times before I actually got into it and read the wh ...more
Kent
Not an ideal first book, but a great book to read after you've been on a meditation retreat and have studied the Buddha's teachings for about a year. This is the book to read if you're stuck practicing meditation so that you can "change" and "improve yourself" (often subtle forms of self-hatred).

Most people find the insights that everything is ultimately impermanent and unsatisfactory simple to comprehend (just think about the last week). But the third insight—"not-self"—is difficult to get aho
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A.B. McFarland
I was telling my husband about this book, saying it was one of the best Buddhist books I’ve read so far.

“This author is a master,” I said. “He really knows how to convey the concept of enlightenment with words.”

My husband replied, “Oh, so he really spoke to your experience.”

Just like that, my whole experience of the book became cheapened, as I realized what I’d said was just my opinion, and just because I say something is “the best” doesn’t mean it is true.

I must admit though, the author does
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David Peirce
The fundamental principle we must remember when traversing a spiritual path is that “we” don't “have” a mind. The mind has created the sense of *you* and *me* from the way it perceives reality. -- From chapter 1.


The Buddhist teaching of anatta (no self) is one of the 3 marks of existence, along with impermanence and suffering (dissatisfaction). I've found it very hard to understand. Few of the popular Buddhist writers in the west whom I've read treat the subject in depth. I've found that Thich N
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Frank
Jan 23, 2013 Frank marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The whole concept of Emptiness and No-Self in Buddhism is definitely the hardest thing for westerners to wrap their heads around, to the point where you could argue some forms of Buddhism have been altered so that its not part of the teachings. Rodney Smith, however, shows that both are integral to practice and, in fact, Buddhism is not Buddhism without them. This book definitely broke my brain, and I admit to skimming the last two chapters instead of reading them word for word. Do not read this ...more
Carol Ford-kramer
This book changed my whole outlook on life.
Steve
The Dharma need not be this dry.
Brandon Mechtley
Superb. Be sure to read this all the way through.
Kevin
This was three, verging on four stars until the last two chapters swerved into woo-land. Quantum physics, string theory, "vibrations," all those popular buzzwords new-agey people use to justify their theories. Up until that point I thought he had some good observations about consciousness and experience. Maybe he still does, but it's hard for me to wash that last taste out of my mouth.
Debra
I LOVE THIS BOOK. I found R. Smith's podcasts to be excellent, but maybe a bit too "heady". BUT this book is EXCELLENT! A good read...some parts deep and need to be re-read. I did a lot of re-reading in fact, but worth it.

Basically, it answers questions like...."how can I be present NOW, but still plan for the future...."
David
I just finished reading this book, and am not sure what to think. I had expected the book to be about, self, not-self, all that goes with that dichotomy. Instead felt like he spent the entire book dancing around these topics without ever truly discussing them or the meditative/intellectual path that leads to understanding of them.
Happyreader
I had a 10-day retreat with Rodney Smith that really opened my mind. His teaching style is very challenging and pull-no-punches and incredibly compassionate. Looking forward to reading this book when it comes out in July.
Sue Harrington
Fabulous book. This is a generous enlightened person sharing the details of how we work with our crazy human mind. He's described learnings that I've never seen in other buddhist studies.
Robert
Good, but no clear way to apply the information is given in this book.
Nellalou
One of the best Buddhist books I've ever read.
ราฟาเอล
A very good companion for spiritual development.
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Rodney Smith is a renowned insight meditation teacher. He is the founding and guiding teacher of the Seattle Insight Meditation Society. He is also a guiding teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. He was at one time an ordained Buddhist monk in Southeast Asia, and considers Ajahn Buddhadassa, Nisargadatta Maharaj, J. Krishamurti, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Adyashanti, Josep ...more
More about Rodney Smith...
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“The cause of our suffering is not what we do, but the way we perceive.” 7 likes
“We are never further from the truth than when we are certain.” 3 likes
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