The concept of no self or selflessness (also known as anatta or anatman in Buddhism) can sometimes be confusing. If there is no self, then who or what is experiencing our present reality? The Buddha taught that there are five aggregates that constitute a living being; however, to solely identify with these is to rob ourselves of knowing our true nature which isn’t defined by these five phenomena.

In this video, I explain in detail what these five aggregates (khandhas or skandhas) are and how the Buddha’s teachings of no self serves as a liberating reminder that our thoughts, feelings and perceptions are not to be taken so seriously; that instead there is a way to live in this world with a greater lightness of being.

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Via Jonathan Moreau on flickr

Photo: Jonathan Moreau on flickr

In Buddhism, it is said that all sentient beings are ones who can perceive and feel, which raises the question whether animals are conscious and experience feelings and emotions like we do. For those of us with pets, like cats or dogs, it may be easy to see that these types of animals experience similar emotions to us like happiness, sadness and even jealousy and pain. However, since most of us haven’t grown up with farm animals (the kind most likely raised for the meat industry), it’s understandable that we might not have considered whether these animals are also capable of exhibiting emotions.

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As a Buddhist, a question I often get asked is: Are Buddhists vegetarian? Given the Buddhist teachings focus on compassion and non-violence, it’s not a surprise that many people think all Buddhists must therefore be vegetarian or vegan.

In this video, I explore what the Buddha said about eating meat and how his teachings have affected the landscape of vegetarianism within different Buddhist traditions today. I also discuss healthy attitudes we can embody if we are vegetarian or vegan, and I look at ways we might incorporate the Buddhist teachings of compassion into our eating habits whether we are exclusively vegetarian or not.

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If you would like to come on pilgrimage to India and Nepal at the end of the year to see the holy sites associated with the Buddha’s life, now is the time to book. As an incentive to book early, the first six participants to pay their fully-refundable joining fee will receive a saving of $250 USD on the total cost of the trip!

We’ve created a new website for the pilgrimages which will hopefully make navigation and finding the information you need a lot easier. You can find everything you need to know at

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