Waking from Our Delusion: Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Self


Share with a Friend

Email to a Friend

Already a member? Log in to share this content.

You must be a Tricycle Community member to use this feature.

1. Join as a Basic Member

Signing up to Tricycle newsletters will enroll you as a free Tricycle Basic Member.You can opt out of our emails at any time from your account screen.

2. Enter Your Message Details

Enter multiple email addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
sandip's picture

I truly enjoyed the first talk and it gave me a new understanding of "no self" and connection or interbeing. Thank you.

raymondtovo's picture

Sorry guys ,there is just not enough cynicism in Buddhism.These retreats seem Pollyanna.
Any civilization that can build a big enough bomb to obliterate the earth many times over is full of inherently evil human beings that could meditate till hell freezes over , but nothing will change.!

Zoozyq's picture

Thank you for this clear and friendly talk that has contributed to more meaningful daily life for me. I will listen again as reflection opens new windows onto my own sense of self. _/\_

lotusrainfive's picture

Thank you Loy Sensei, beautiful start to a retreat _/|\_

David Loy's picture

Thanks again for all the comments. Yes, the sense of lack often functions in quite a subtle way, so that it's not easy to know what's really going on. This is further complicated by the fact that not all our problems are due to the sense of lack [at least, not as I understand it]. For example, although money can be an obsessive "lack project," we do need money to live, so sometimes we do need to be very concerned about it.
Regarding Andrew's comment about dreaming: "the Buddha" more literally means "the Awakened One", which implies that those of us who aren't Buddhas [or who haven't yet realized our Buddhanature] are somehow sleeping. That suggests that what we are experiencing is dreamlike.
I like Joan's picture too!

Laura438's picture

Hi, David,

Thank you very much for offering this retreat through Tricycle. I have listened to your first talk twice now.

The idea that the sense of self is haunted by a sense of lack is very useful to me. I first heard you express this idea in about 2008 during the first Path of Engagement at Spirit Rock. You expressed it as a "sense of something missing," a feeling I had had that I didn't understand then.

With this talk I had the insight that the sense of lack tends to come up and to stick to whatever the current story is. It's presence is also quite subtle, at least in its current incarnation for me, related to illness.

I look forward to your next talk.


andrew522's picture

Hi, I could not get the video started on Firefox but I switched to Internet Explorer and was able to watch it there. You know I'd like to relate a funny thing about this sense of self. I must warn you that this may sound a bit crazy but I remember quite a lot of my dreams; sometimes I write them down as soon as I wake. The crazy thing about my dreams is that they often take place pretty far in the past. Sometimes 20 or 30 years ago. And they often involve some pretty impossible stuff, And yet I retain my sense of self in my dreamstate, and I never question the often bizarre environment of my dreams. In fact I do not know at all if my present, non-dreaming existence is not a dream in itself. I had a thought the other day that, who knows, maybe this daytime state is also a dreaming state and when I die someone will be waking up. Crazy speculation but I just thought I'd share it with you, sorry if it was a bit too much.

celticpassage's picture

Do you mean you are 'lucid dreaming'?
If so, then it's not really very strange and that ability can be improved with practice. As a child I could have lucid drems at will, and could choose what to dream about. But it got kinda boring and I stopped doing it.

As to whether waking reality is a dream...that was apparently wondered also by Chuang Tzu in his butterfly dream

pmurphycapecod's picture

No problem with transmission here. Wanting to say that as a sober member of AA for 32 years, I have heard most of our members speak of the sense of lack and inadequacy which we see at the core of our disease. I really had not seen that it could be the core of everyone's dis-ease. Thank you.

Joan R's picture

Thank you for exploring the issue of women's self image in the context of "no self". I've never heard any woman in my life say "I love my body", yet this is our only body and it so deserves our love. Today I will love this body, and find gratitude for the many wonderful things it does, even if it is not really 'me'!

karladiane's picture

Joan R: This has nothing to do with this absolutely wonderful retreat - but the picture that you have for your tricycle account is absolutely adorable - it put a huge smile on my face after a really long, hard day!
I agree with your observation above 100%.

raymondtovo's picture

Very insightful retreat I got a lot out of your wonderful talk.
I always feel a strong sense of lack and basic insecurity. It feels like a hole in my existence. Hearing you has helped shine a light on that.
I have tried to fill that sense of self through relationship ,work ,consumerism and dancing.
I grew up in NY with other Italian Immigrant families and our sense of self was tied strongly having a place there.

Recently I watched the video series :Century of The self and how Freud's nephew Bernays founded the public relations industry 1920 s based on his Uncles theories of ego and self.
Quite thought provoking.
Thank You

Will.Rowe's picture

Good talk. Transform our motivations. Filling the vacuum inside with outside desires does not work, I have found. Pleasures are temporary: they are soup escaping our leaking bowl. Thank you for reminding us. Annata is most difficult for me, I must admit.
Could it be that President Reagan’s quote about everyone becoming a millionaire, which you mention here, referred to the opportunity for everyone to become a millionaire; that everyone should have the opportunity to better themselves financially, not that everyone should become obsessed over wealth? Often I have found that the introduction of politics into a discussion of this type distracts needlessly. Politics poison the well.

David Loy's picture

Thanks to everyone for the comments. Hopefully all the technical problems have been fixed by now. I'm pleased that you're finding the talk helpful. (I suppose those who don't find it helpful probably don't bother to post anything!) Brian asked about my website: it's www.davidloy.org . It has a lot of related material, including an online article on karma that expands what I was able to say during the talk. And, for what it's worth, most of this first talk is taken from the first part of the 'Money Sex War Karma' book.
I love that quotation from Nisargadatta so much that I'm going to repeat it here: "When I look inside and see that I am nothing, that's wisdom. When I look outside and see that I am everything, that's love. Between these two my life turns."

jnanine's picture

Thanks for the talk and for doing a retreat. There is much fruit for thought here and also on your website. I have been having a mini-retreat with your teachings all weekend. I just got an insight on the Nisargadatta quote. The looking out part that is love, that is the same as the bodhisattva aspiration. Love can be equated to the desire to serve and work for the betterment of the world. Looking forward to hearing about the other 2 e's...

bradykath1's picture

My 'lack' projects usually spin out of feeling hurt and rejected (real or imagined) and in attaching to the feelings, I build a rather tormented life of resentment, isolation, rage and pain, duality. It seems mad when I reflect on it like this. I have learned not to see my hurt as a weird badge of self importance, and instead I can apply the salve of kindness, recognising the profound mistake I've been making, and seeing that in relaxing and opening out instead of contracting around pain, life for me and others is so much easier, lighter and connected. It seems so obvious, but it's been a long hard road to see! Thanks for the retreat talk; looking forward to hearing more.

beatrice's picture

I can relate only to well.

mralexander99's picture

The video also stopped playing for me (I tried 3 times). I am using "chrome" on the recent iPad. So I played the video by using my iMac and it worked.
This presentation is excellent and it focuses on the "crux" of our human dilemma -- not understanding "dukkha" on a collective level. I am fascinated on the possibilities of a "global awakening", but so far I don't see any evidence of this occurring. When Thich Nhat Hanh was asked about the coming of "The Future Buddha" he said that it would be as "Sangha" -- and that then would be a "collective awakening".

Odsal's picture

Wonderfully articulated. Looking forward to the other segments. Thank you for sharing.

stoney's picture

wonderful; a very helpful perspective. thanks. I also have a favor to ask: Could someone write for me the name of the person quoted near the end, the quote which begins "When I look inside and see that I am nothing"? Thanks again.

wtompepper's picture

Nisargadatta Maharaj

stoney's picture

thank you so much!

johnstrydom's picture

I had a good laugh at the question, "What sorts of reality-projects are you involved in?" I found it such a helpful way to take a slightly more skeptical view of all my plans for the future: they are all so much about "me" and they seem to be so essential for my welfare, and all of it seems so "real"!
What a very serious life I seem to live...thanks for pointing that out, David.

myers_lloyd's picture

Thank you, David Loy.
Karma held no interest for me in my practice - in fact it seemed a weird and repellent relic from Hindu beliefs-- until a friend alerted me to your contextualizing it for us living here now. Aha...
Here again in this talk you quoted Chogyam Trungpa on meditation making us "accident-prone". Another thanks to "you" for introducing me to the highest of his terse wisdom.


roshaven's picture

Wonderful!! This really hit home.

1996treasurer's picture

Hello all. Reconstructing/Deconstructing..this resonates so deep with me. I seek to learn much more on this complex subject of emptiness. I am just about to watch this retreat again and look forward to the next one. Can you kindly post your Website for us.

Sarah11.11's picture

The video also stopped playing for me at 20 minutes 30 seconds. I love contemplating the concepts and nature of self and am looking forward to this retreat.

Emma Varvaloucas's picture

Hi Sarah,
We're sorry you're having trouble! We've triple-checked and everything seems fine on our end. Sometimes the player can be finicky and just needs a reload to work properly. Also make sure before watching that the video has fully buffered. If it still isn't working, try switching browsers (Chrome and Firefox both work well with our site). If none of these solutions work, please contact our support services at support@tricycle.com or 1-800-873-9871. They'll be able to help you out.
Best wishes,
Emma Varvaloucas

edbland05's picture

Yup, the same thing happened to me right at 20:15. Bummer :( Oh well, a wonderful talk up until then. I look forward to the next 3 sessions. With much Metta,

Ed --

Thanks for fixing it; it works fine now. A lovely teaching...

sasiotero's picture

The recording stop at 21:39, please check and fix the problem. Thank you, the content is very pertinent to the present personal and social situation.

Andrew Gladstone's picture

Hi, sorry it isn't working for you. The video plays fine on our end, so if it still doesn't work after reloading the page, please contact our support at 1-800-873-9871 or support@tricycle.com. Thanks!