Buddhism by the Numbers
The Three Dharma Seals
Impermanence, Non-self, Nirvana
- From the point of view of time we say “impermanence” and from the point of view of space we say “non-self.”
- It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent.
- Nothing is ever lost. Nothing is ever gained.
- The second dharma seal is non-self. Nothing has a separate existence or separate self. Everything has to inter-be with everything else.
- When we see that everyone and everything belongs to the same stream of life, our suffering will vanish.
- Non-self means that you are made of elements which are not you.
- Nirvana is the third dharma seal. It is the ground of being.
- “The dharma I offer you is only a raft to help you cross over to the other shore,” said the Buddha.
- Nirvana is the extinction of all notions.
- Happy Continuation
- Eight concepts: birth, death, permanence, dissolution, coming, going, one, many.
- The practice to end attachment of these eight ideas is called the eight no’s or the middle way.
- Experience always goes before ideas.
- Any teaching that does not bear the mark of the Three Dharma Seals, the Four Holy Truths, and the Eightfold Path is not authentically Buddhist.
- Two Relevancies
- Relevance to essence – The three dharma seals: impermanence, non-self, Nirvana.
- Relevance must fit the circumstances.
- Four Standards of Truth
- The worldly
- The person
- The absolute – No self
- The Four Reliances
Based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo credit: Benn Bell