“Anatta” is the mystifying teaching of “not self,” referring to the Buddhist concept that there is “no self.” As a westerner, this has always perplexed me but recently this was interpreted during our dharma talk to mean there is no permanent, non-changing, non-evolving self. This was a light bulb moment of understanding (dare I say an enlightened moment). This concept was explained simply, and in a way I could finally understand. Anatta, in this context, seemed much akin to the idea of SoulCollage® in that our deck is a representation of our self, with guidance and interpretation that is also continuously evolving, not static, always changing. Just as like us.
The dharma talk included the interdependent and interconnected wisdom of “no self” as there is nothing we do individually as “I” or “me” because in fact it ultimately affects all in the universal picture. We are not the center of the Universe (gasp!), we are a blip on the radar of the Universe, an interdependent part of a grander reality–there is no self, because we are an interconnected part of a whole. In our SoulCollage® deck, I feel this speaks to our Source card. This made me think of another parallel between the Buddhist concept of anatta and SoulCollage® referring to “the one and the many” principle underlying the SoulCollage® practice. To paraphrase Seena Frost, the Founder of SoulCollage®, we are each one whole being, yet at the same time made up of many parts (as represented by our deck). Just as your family is many, yet one family. The same is true when thinking of the larger picture: our planet, our solar system, the universe. All life is interdependent and interconnected to exist as a whole. All cards in our deck are deeply interwoven with the energy and guidance that emanates from our Source card.
At first thought, there might be conflict with my SoulCollage® practice. After all, through SoulCollage® I am on a personal journey to discover and reveal my unique individual self–the opposite of what the dharma teaches. Yet, the practice of SoulCollage® expects and relies on the fact that my deck represents my whole self–at any moment (never static), and is made of interconnected aspects that continuously evolve over time and experience in order to reflect my ever-changing self. Or as my buddha nature side might call, no self 🙂
To really punch up the excitement, the concept of “emptiness” was also discussed, along with an easier interpretation I could begin to wrap my head around: emptiness is not to be “lacking” of something, but is instead the potential of possibilities. Doesn’t this sound like our SoulEssence card?! Whoa. Cool! It was a Dharma/SoulCollage® mashup!
The SoulCollage® community is like another sangha for me, and the benefits of both expand through an inviting network of sharing, honoring and bonding for the greater good–collagers simply want to share SoulCollage® with others!
I love when the things we find meaningful provoke like thought or find common ground, it validates the best parts of what makes each experience or learning so valuable. How has SoulCollage® manifested along your own spiritual path? What are some parallels you’ve noticed in teachings? Do you have faith-based cards or suits?
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