I just thought of a “possible” and very troubling example of Sakkaya Ditthi, please share feedback and opinion.
#1. Before I started learning the Puredhamma, I was taught breathing meditation, to focus on the breath and feel it inside my body etc . . . Thinking back on this, I feel like I was taking (kaya) the 5 aggregates to be (sath) important. Thinking that by focusing on my breath will take me to Nibbana or believing the 5 aggregates is beneficial for me to attain Nibbana. If one places any emphasize or delightfully promotes any method that uses the 5 aggregates and truly believe that it will take one to Nibbana, isn’t this an example of Sakkaya Ditthi?
I understand that there are some exceptions to this. To make things simple, let’s say someone has the gati to practice breath meditation. One day, they have understood what Sakkaya ditthi is. If one has understood what sakkaya ditthi is, I believe that they would not place anymore importance on breathing meditation. They might still do it out of habit or to get into mundane jhana’s. But deep down inside, they would know that focusing on any of the 5 aggregates is Sakkaya ditthi or anatta (no essence) and they wouldn’t teach or promote such a method or at least encourage it.
Today it’s very widely taught and encourage for people to do breathing meditation (most current Buddhist :( , focus on objects, focusing on your feelings, etc . . . For people who’s teaching or learning these methods and truly believes that these methods will take one to Nibbana or a permanent happiness or whatever is that they wish for. Isn’t this one of the many examples of Sakkaya Ditthi?
Since I mentioned anatta (no essence), which is commonly translated as no-self, rather one believes anatta as no-self or not. Instead of “no-self”, it seems like it’s better to view it as “there’s nothing worth to call a self or nothing can be considered as a self” I know Lal wrote something exactly or similar as this in his posts, but now these are my own words / way of thinking.
#2. Why “there’s nothing worth to call a self or nothing can be considered as a self”? Because of anatta (no essence). From my experience so far, it seems like the more one understands what Sakkaya ditthi is, the more one understands what anatta (no essence) means.
#1. Is the example I given a Sakkaya ditthi?
#2. Am I on the right path of understanding the connection between Sakkaya ditthi and Anatta? I know there’s more learning/details to be done, but this is what I can realize for now.