Excerpt from Chapter 10 – “Being Selfish and Being Selfless”

Published June 20, 2017

If you have done any study in Zen Buddhism, you might have heard the term “nothingness.” Nothingness is not a vacuum or a state in which nothing exists. In Shin Buddhism, it can be better described as a selfless state—self being a complex combination of all the worldly, earthly, and carnal desires—so nothingness is the state in which no selfishness exists with regard to the way things are; it is a purely natural state in which no human intentions exist.

Transitioning from selfishness to selflessness is like transitioning your frame of reference from the Ptolemaic theory to the Copernican theory, or from the geocentric theory to the heliocentric theory. When you are selfish, you are the center of the universe and everything revolves around you. When you are successful in business, politics, or any system or organization, you often have the feeling that everything is under your control, everything works the way you want it to, and everybody listens to you. You may think your success is the result of your own effort and that you deserve the reward. As long as things are going well, you are a very proud, confident, and happy person. You are literally the center of the world.