illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
Selflessness is often seen in terms of present choices: « I am not my past, I am free to change my behaviour and to develop qualities, who do I want to be (the neurotic wreck clinging to some views and certainties as 'my identity', or an embodiment of generosity, loving-kindness, patience, etc.)? » But this of course also is true of the present: I am not limited to my present! If I make a mistake now, it immediately becomes the past and I'm not the past, so I'm not now either: I am basically not a point in time, but a process. Constraints and tendencies are appropriated from the past, and present actions link to intentions which usually link to a desired future. Freedom from 'personal' intention, to do "what's wholesome for all" rather than "what I want", is rare (even if it is also achievable and a spiritual goal).
Suffering and unsatisfactoriness is described by the Buddha, and it notably includes being separate from the loved, and being associated with the hated. Loneliness is part of that. Loneliness is rooted in separation. It is therefore no surprise that selflessness and interdependence participate in the cessation of suffering.
by Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple 佛光山西來寺:
An open world begins with an open mind.
Who we are? #openourworld #weareone