The Self in No Self

Author: Ronald Hanh Niêm Hirsch

ISBN 978-0-9883290-0-3 (softcover)

ISBN 978-0-9883290-1-0 (eBook)

148 pages

Many who strive to follow the Buddhist path experience barriers that frustrate their progress. "The Self in No Self: Buddhist Heresies and Other Lessons of a Buddhist Life" breaks out of the dogma of much Buddhist teaching to remove those barriers, making the path more accessible.

If my true self is no self, than who am I? If what I observe is void, does reality have no substance? How can there be no right or wrong? Since I am not enlightened, how can I achieve serenity while subject to the forces of ego and culture? What do you mean that my perceptions are illusory…if I can’t trust my senses, what can I trust?

"The Self in No Self" answers these and other questions, combining a fresh take on aspects of the Buddha dharma with a practical perspective based on years of experience. The book also illustrates, using the example of the author’s troubled life, how one can slowly find peace and contentment through the disciplined practice of Buddhism.

Following the Buddhist path while living in today’s world, with its stressors and ego triggers, is challenging. "The Self in No Self" seeks to help lay Buddhists achieve serenity and be one with the Buddha dharma.


Ronald Hanh Niêm Hirsch has walked the path of Buddhism for more than 15 years now. Along the way, he has had the good fortune to have had some powerful teachers who opened many gates for him. His Zen practice follows no particular lineage but reflects the teachings of his Vietnamese and Korean Zen mentors. Hirsch has had a varied career as a teacher, legal aid lawyer, survey researcher, nonprofit executive, composer, writer, and volunteer. He is the author of "We Still Hold These Truths", acclaimed by James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic, as “a systematic and serious effort to make the [presidential] debate as clear and valuable as is can be…the questions he is asking are the right ones for the public this year.” He grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania and resides in upstate New York. 

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