using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : January 2019
ADVICE FOR DIFFICULT TIMES Healthy Self or No Self? Modern psychology encourages us to have a healthy sense of self, but Buddhism teaches that the self doesn’t even exist. BARRY MAGID says there’s no conflict. Question: All my life I’ve defined myself through my accomplishments and others’ approval. Now I don’t have a real inner sense of self. My therapist says I need a healthy ego but Buddhism says ego is the problem. So do I have to choose between healthy self or non-self? Answer: It’s not easy straightening out the different ways that Buddhism and Western psychology talk about the self and the ego. As a Buddhist teacher and psychoanalyst, I’ve heard people asking the question you raise for many decades. When you speak of an “inner sense of self,” what do you mean? An intrinsic feeling of value just as you are, without having to accomplish anything or please anyone? The psychological “ego” is a set of capacities that are not lost as a result of Buddhist practice. The negative sense of “ego” used in Buddhism refers to our common self-cen- tered way of organizing our reality. The word “self ” has many uses and meanings, but when we say it is empty or nonexis- tent, it is not that we are trying to make it go away. Rather, we are trying to be clear about what the self already is—constantly changing and always dependent on its relational context. The sense of self that your therapist supports might actually be closer to this “no self ” than you think. “No self ” is a healthy self; it refers to a non-self-con- scious, nonjudgmental acceptance of the changing, interdependent nature of who and what we are. This is a state in which we freely and appropriately function and respond in a non-self-centered way. People sometimes get involved in Bud- dhism to escape the problem of being or becoming themselves. But bypassing the psychological isn’t what makes us “spiritual.” These aspects of ourselves develop in tandem and there is no conflict between them. The values and form of life of a monk may look “selfless” in one sense, but their discipline, commitment, endur- ance, and compassion all are hallmarks of a psychologically strong and healthy self. Continue your two practices of med- itation and therapy. They will support and reinforce each other. ♦ ©MIQUELLLONCH/STOCKSYUNITED BARRY MAGID is a psychoanalyst and teaches at the Ordinary Mind Zendo in New York City. Send your question to email@example.com NUNS IN THE HIMALAYAS The Pema Chödrön Foundation’s support helps ensure that nuns in Nepal, Bhutan and India have the same equal opportunities for deep practice and study as monks have always had. AT rISk popULATIoNS Pema is committed to supporting organizations that work to protect and nurture at-risk populations, particularly women and youth who are in challenging circumstances. THE Book INITIATIVE Pema’s books and recorded teachings are offered to underserved individuals and the organizations that support them, around the world, free of charge. THE BUDDHIST MoNASTIC TrADITIoN Pema is dedicated to help guide and support her home monastery, Gampo Abbey, as well as monastic settings in Asia and the West. OUR ONLINE BOOKSTORE: You can purchase Pema’s books, CDs and DVDs along with her archived teachings at our online bookstore. Free Shipping in the USA. THE pEMA CHöDröN FoUNDATIoN SUpporTS: pEMACHoDroNFoUNDATIoN.org LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2019 19