Vasubandhu's "Three Natures": A Practitioner's Guide for Liberation
A plain-English commentary on Vasubandhu's classic Treatise on the Three Natures that shows us an integrative path of personal and social healing and liberation.
In this book, Ben Connelly shows the power of integrating early Buddhist psychology with the Mahayana emphasis on collective liberation. You’ll discover how wisdom from fourth-century India can be harnessed to heal and transform systems of harm within ourselves and our communities.
The three natures (svabhavas)—the imaginary, dependent, and complete, realized natures—are inherent aspects of all phenomena. The imaginary nature of things is what we think they are. Their dependent nature is that they appear to arise from countless conditions. The complete, realized nature is that they aren’t as we imagine them to be: things that can be grasped or pushed away. The three natures form the backbone of Yogacara philosophy, and by showing us how to see beyond our preconceived notions of ourselves and others, beyond the things that we’re convinced are “true,” they open up a path to personal and communal healing.
Dive into this empowering approach to freedom from suffering, from harmful personal and social patterns, and to finding peace and joyfulness in the present.
Ben Connelly is a Soto Zen teacher and Dharma heir in the Katagiri lineage. He also teaches mindfulness in a wide variety of secular contexts, including police and corporate training, correctional facilities, and addiction-recovery and wellness groups. Ben is based at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center and travels to teach across the United States. He’s the author of Inside the Grass Hut: Living Shitou’s Classic Zen Poem, Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara: A Practitioner’s Guide, and Mindfulness and Intimacy.
Weijen Teng, translator of Vasubandhu's classic Treatise on the Three Natures, is an assistant professor at Dharma Drum University in Taiwan. He has a BA in Pali and Buddhist studies (Kelaniya, Sri Lanka), an MA in Sanskrit (Pune, India), and a PhD in religious studies (Harvard University). His particular areas of research include Abhidharma and Yogacara meditation theories, Chinese translations of Sanskrit texts, and the development of contemporary Chinese Buddhism.