Ramblings of a Monk
Bite-sized Dharma on the go!
Posted on21 May , 201127 December , 2016AuthorShi ZhiXing2 Comments
Dear Venerable Chuan Guan,
I saw this posting, where you were scheduled to teach
Topic: Karma, Reincarnation and Rebirth
Date: Friday, 25 March 2011
Venue: YIH Training Room 3
Speaker: Venerable Chuan Guan
On the poster, it said that you would be discussing “the soul”.
Concept of soul: What is soul?(link to reincarnation and rebirth)
As far as I know, and I have not had a chance to study Buddhism in university or school, or monastery, but as far as I know, Buddhists don’t believe in what Christians call the soul. I am familiar with “mind” and yet, that is not the soul, very different, and it is not personality, or ego. The soul is very specific in Christian belief, so as a Buddhist, I have said to Christians, No, Buddhists don’t believe in the “soul” like Christians do.
Would you please explain to me.
I am a westerner, from US and Canada, currently living in Montreal, and I took novice vows last year, in the Tibetan tradition. I have been a Tibetan practitioner for ten years but its very hard to get teachings here, especially in Montreal. My teacher is in Tibet and school where I took vows is near Delhi, India. Also I have been to Malaysia. I wish i could go to monstery there! : )
Take care and kind thanks, Lama
Konchok Rangdrol (Getsul)
Thank you for your comment and question.
You are quite right that Buddhist do no have such a belief in the presence of a soul (or a creator god for that matter). However, since Buddha’s time, there are many others who posit the presence of a soul, self or atman that is permanent, unchanging and persist throughout all time. Such an entity cannot be found within our existence or anywhere in this world. Ergo, no self. It is with reference to this that the topic covered “soul”.
When I was ordained in 2002, I spent three to four years in Fa Yun monastery (http://www.fayun.org) in New Mexico, US. I am presently resident in the Buddhist Library, Singapore. I’ll be happy to share with you the teachings should you have any queries.
If you are in town, you can also give me a buzz, and we can meet up at the library. I’ll introduce you to Bhante Dhammaratana, a very senior Sri Lanka Venerable who has spent 30~40 years in Singapore teaching and sharing the Dharma.
PS: What is ‘Getsul’?
Shi Chuan Guan
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