The Buddha’s Insights
Siddhartha sat under a fig tree (later known as the Bodhi or awakening tree) and watched his breathing come and go; he noticed how his mind generated stories, images, and feelings. He also saw how these states of mind were constantly changing and even though they were his thoughts, memories, and feelings he could not find a “me” at the center of it all who owned those experiences. There is no unchanging essence that makes us who we are and with this assertion he distinguished himself from the philosophies and religions of the time. He claimed that everything was a flowing process in the mind including what we know to be ourselves. With this insight he was able to get beyond the pervasive sense that something was off or not quite right that he had felt since he was a little boy. He had awakened.