Wednesday, July 27, 2011


''The source of sorrow is the pride of saying ''I''
fostered and increased by false belief in self.
To this you may say that there's redress,
But meditation on no-self will be the supreme way."


A few weeks ago, Fina picked up a mirror, gave it a good look, then pointed to her face in the mirror, and yelled, "Fee!"

As exciting as it was to see her identify herself by name for the first time, a part of me sank, knowing how much difficulty will come along with it. I felt almost as if I'd failed her in some way, even though I realized, realistically, there's no other way.


  1. "With a healthy sense of self we feel wholesome, balanced, confident, pliable, at ease."
    - From: A Healthy Sense of Self, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Shambhala Sun, July 2003.

    "You DO have a personality – which in English is what we could call ‘self’. It is not permanent, nor unchanging, and therefore not an Atman, but it is real. And Buddhism teaches you should develop and nurture this personality. This is Right Effort – a central tenet of Buddhism. Develop good personality traits, and abandon unhealthy ones. Develop patience, kindness, generosity, wisdom, morality etc… All these are personality traits of your SELF, that you should develop."
    - From a talk by my old teacher Phra Pandit given in Bangkok in September 2009

    Failed her? Nonsense! Fina's healthy sense of self, through the love you've given her, is a gift from you to her and totally wonderful!


  2. "A person devoid of ego functions would be self-destructive: either a beast with uncontrolled impulses, or a neurotic, repressed automaton with no mind of her own, or an infantile monster thrashing erratically between these two extremes. Anyone who tried to abandon ego functioning would arrest his psychological growth and lose all hope of becoming a mature, responsible, trustworthy adult. "
    - Thanissaro Bhikkhu - Hang On to Your Ego

  3. Thank you so much for these, Marcus!
    They really mean a lot

  4. How wonderful that you caught the magic of this and partnered it with Shantideva. WOW!

  5. Thanks Barry,
    Actually, EunBong took this picture at a different time. She's doing her makeup here! haha

  6. Adding to Barry's comment: I thought the picture was perfect for the post. Fina pointing to her eye and saying "Fee!" True seeing!

  7. And we all come to a point eventually when we need to integrate and reconcile the face we see in the mirror with the true person behind our image.
    Love to Fina and everybody!