What’s my label?

Am I the tall guy, am I David, am I Mr. Schmidt, am I Dad, am I Grandpa, or am I Nissarana?
How do you define me, and which label is correct? Is one correct and the others false, or a none of them correct?

During a recent conversation with Vimala Bhikkhuni, the subject arose about our attachment to labels and names. How we see others in a certain way and with a certain name attached to them. If we try to call them something different, our brain seems to lose a connection. We have totally labeled and compartmentalized everyone we know and see. They are who they are because of our own perceptions, attachments and expectations.
Wow, how powerful is our ego! This means you are who you are because of how “I” see you.

In yesterday’s post, I spoke about denial. But following my post I did more reading and research on the subject of denial and what the Buddha taught about it.
In a somewhat contrary vein, Buddha actually taught that denial is extremely important. But in a very specific way. Buddha taught about the denial of the self.

The person who has attained the goal of release, views reality in such a way that all views — even such basic notions as self & no-self, true & false — can have no hold power over the mind.

So my understanding is, “this is me” or “this is not me” are equally inaccurate.
And I don’t see anyway for any of us to reach this awakening towards viewing others until we have gained the wisdom to see this of the self.

I hope this has made some bit of sense to you, because it certainly was an eye-opening dhamma talk from dear Bhikkhuni. And I am so grateful for her ever-present love and wisdom.
And today I will do my best to see each of you simply as you are. Loving and compassionate beings. No labels, no perceptions or judgements.

Budu saranai

May you be well, happy and peaceful.