No Ready Made Solution
I hope people don't mind if I recycle an old weblog post, but things are kind of quiet around here. Kind of makes me nervous. Here's something I recently wrote on mahamudra. Close enough to Zen that I thought people wouldn't mind it here.
Buddhism is not going to hand you a solution. Yes, the solution is written down in the sutras, but reading them is cheating, sort of like looking up the answers to problems in the back of the book. What Buddhism gives you is a method for finding the truth. Whether you believe in selflessness or not is not the point. The point is to see it, because only seeing it has a transformative power. Yes, there are intellectual arguments and understanding them is a good starting point. But then you sit down and look at your mind. First you practice in order to calm and focus the mind. Then you look for the self. Is it consciousness or is it what beholds consciousness? In either case, what are its characteristics? The mind is constantly changing and what changes can't be the self, which must endure through the changes. If you cannot identify any enduring characteristics of the self, how can you say you perceive it? And who is it who doubts or believes they perceive the self? Is it a second self that is looking for the self? Searching in this way, sooner or later the truth becomes glaringly obvious. But don't believe me, do the practice for yourself.