The Sense Of No Self

by Ninh Quang Nguyen
(Hanoi, Vietnam)


Dear Adam,

I am Ninh Quang Nguyen from Vietnam. 

Thank you very much for your site. I am reading it and feel so inspired.

When I sit and calm down the mind, do contemplation or inquiry it seems to me that I already see through the self which is false. When I come to the office to do everyday work the sense of no self is gone. Can I still do the everyday work while maintaining the sense of no self? 

Thanks again for your help.




Yes, it can continue with a sense of there being no separate entity doing it, but don't turn this into something that you should achieve. If this turns into something to achieve or attain, then the sense of separate self seems to root itself in, claiming it is trying to get rid of itself.

Sometimes the "I" can just come in the back door when the self-construct is seen through. It says "I see now. The self is an illusion. I get it!"

Just notice in any moment, that the action is happening by itself. If you go into time, into past or future, then the sense of "no self" will become obscured. It will turn into "I did this," and "I will do that". This sense of self that you are seeing through is based in time. If you just look in the actual moment at whatever you are doing, whether it is cleaning, typing, carrying, or even speaking - it is an energy movement, happening by itself.

Let it be light. Don't have the aim of having the "no-self" experience, because this is just a very "self-ish" fixation. Let the moment be, let the work be. Don't call it "my work", but let it happen as it happens in the moment.

Hope that can help, thanks for getting in touch.



Comments for The Sense Of No Self

(from previous website)

Apr 06, 2016
The Sense of No Self 
by: Ninh Quang Nguyen

Dear Adam, 

Thank you so much for your response. It is very helpful, especially your reminder that "action is happing by itself". 
Also I always remind myself that the self, the me, the I is just a concept, an assumption. It does not exist in reality. But many times I confuse between concept and reality. To me concept is just technically useful in communication. But if we do not see clearly the me is just a concept/assumption in mind it very harmful. Can you enlighten on this so that I can always see the clear-cut between two. 

Many thanks again, Ninh.

Apr 06, 2016

by: Adam

Who is it that is trying to see the clear cut between the two? 

Just reverse attention into yourself and let the question do its work, without expecting or trying to formulate an answer.