But both of these ideas are wrong. Both the mind and body is transient, constantly changing and are "objects" which decompose. They depend on many factors in order to exist. Neither the body nor the mind can be our permanent and independent self.
If the body was one individual existence, it should be capable on its own will, to be powerful and flawless. Nevertheless, the body grows, gets tired, hungry and sick despite his will, so the body cannot be a personality of its own.
Similarly, if the mind was an individual existence, it could do whatever it liked, whatever it wished. But the mind often goes beyond knowing was is right, and follows what is wrong. It is distracted, worried, troubled and agitated, despite his will. Therefore neither the mind can be the independent self.
For example when people say "I will go to work," they just use a proper name for all physical and spiritual factors. In reality, there is no ego or personality.
As long as people think that their self, their individual status is permanent and independent, they are directed towards selfishness. Not only they will constantly feel threatened by other people or situations, but they will also feel compelled to protect themselves, their position, even their views at any cost.
But when they realize that the self is simply a convincing and proper name for all those constantly changing physical and spiritual factors, they will no longer be fixated on fear and insecurity. It will be easier for them to grow, to read, to create and be generous, kind and compassionate, because they will no longer need to be constantly on the defensive.
The understanding of the lack of the true nature of personality, can help people to accept and make ends meet more effectively with everyday situations. It encourages the cultivation of good contact and helps people to progress towards happiness, serenity and enlightenment.
Shaolin temple has traditionally kept connecting with and serving the followers. As the followers had the needs to learn Shaolin culture in different ways, we would advocate different forms to conveniently and efficiently promote Shaolin culture around the world.
Abbot Shi Yong Xin [chin.: shìyǒngxìn fāngzhang 释永信方丈]