Guest Teacher Rebecca Li – 11/18/2019

On Monday, November 18th, we are happy to host Dr. Rebecca Li as a visiting guest teacher at the Sangha. A dharma heir in the Chan lineage of Master Sheng Yen, Rebecca will lead us in guided meditation and offer a dharma talk on “No self or not self? How should we consider the teachings on anatta?”

–Very basically, anatta (or anatman in Sanskrit) is the teaching that there is no permanent, eternal, unchanging, or autonomous “self” inhabiting “our” bodies or living “our” lives. Anatman is contrasted with the Vedic teachings of the Buddha’s day, which taught that there is within each of us an atman, or an unchanging, eternal soul or identity. 

Anatta or anatman is one of the Three Marks of Existence. The other two are dukkha (roughly, unsatisfying) and anicca (impermanence). In this context, anatta often is translated as “egolessness.” 

Of critical importance is the teaching of the Second Noble Truth, which tells us that because we believe we are a permanent and unchanging self, we fall into clinging and craving, jealousy and hate, and all the other poisons that cause unhappiness. —  More reading on this topic: https://www.learnreligions.com/self-no-self-whats-a-self-450190

Dr. Rebecca Li, began her teacher’s training with Master Sheng Yen 1999 when she also began to serve as his translator until his passing in 2009. Starting in the mid-2000s, she also trained with John Crook and Simon Child, two lay Dharma heirs of the master, and received full Dharma transmission from Simon Child in 2016. Currently, she leads Chan retreats, teaches meditation and Dharma classes, and gives public lectures in North America, the U.K., and in Taiwan. Her talks and writings can be found at www.rebeccali.org. She is the founder and guiding teacher of Chan Dharma Community and a sociology professor at The College of New Jersey, where she also serves as faculty director of the Alan Dawley Center for the Study of Social Justice.

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