What is the main problem in Buddhism?

What is the main problem in Buddhism?

30 Sec Answer: The main problem in Buddhism is reconciling the concept of anatta, or not-self, with the pursuit of enlightenment.


Buddhism is a complex philosophy and religious tradition that originated in India more than 2,500 years ago. It has since spread throughout Asia and the world, and has had an immense impact on cultures and societies around the globe. Buddhism’s core teachings focus on suffering and its cessation, as well as impermanence and non-attachment. One of the central concepts of Buddhism is anatta, or not-self—the idea that no single entity exists within an individual; rather, each person is composed of various aspects (e.g., body, mind) that are constantly changing and evolving over time. This can create a dilemma for those seeking to become enlightened, because attaining enlightenment requires understanding one’s true nature. In this article, we will explore how reconciling the concept of anatta with the pursuit of enlightenment presents one of the main problems in Buddhism today.

What Is Anatta?

Anatta is a central teaching in Buddhist philosophy and refers to the lack of any fixed essence or unchanging soul inside a human being. According to this teaching, there is no single thing that defines us as individuals; instead, our identity consists of many factors that are continually changing and shifting due to our interactions with our environment. For example, physical characteristics such as height, weight, and facial features may all be different from day to day or even hour to hour due to external influences such as exercise or eating habits. Similarly, our thoughts and emotions can also vary widely depending on what experiences we encounter in life.

How Does Anatta Relate To Enlightenment?

Enlightenment is often referred to as awakening or becoming aware of one’s true self—an ultimate state of wisdom and peace. However, if one does not believe that there is an essential self or soul inside them (as Buddhists do), then it becomes difficult to achieve this goal because there would be nothing to awaken to. Additionally, according to some interpretations of Buddhist teachings, striving towards enlightenment itself can be seen as an attachment—a desire for something that ultimately cannot exist without clinging onto it—which could further complicate matters.

What Are Some Other Problems In Buddhism?

While reconciling anatta with enlightenment presents a major challenge for Buddhists today, there are other issues that must also be addressed. For instance, while most forms of Buddhism share certain key teachings (such as the Four Noble Truths), there are numerous sects within the religion that differ significantly from one another in terms of beliefs and practices. These differences can lead to confusion among practitioners about which path should be followed in order to attain liberation from suffering. Additionally, some forms of Buddhism place emphasis on meditation and concentration techniques whereas others focus more on social engagement and charitable works—each approach presenting unique challenges for adherents trying to live out their faith.

How Can We Resolve These Issues?

Although these issues may seem daunting at first glance, they can be resolved by understanding the fundamental principles upon which all forms of Buddhism are based—namely compassion, non-violence, interdependence, mindfulness/awareness, moderation/moderationism and tolerance/acceptance—and applying them when necessary. Furthermore, engaging in open dialogue between different Buddhist schools can help clarify points of disagreement while respecting diversity among practitioners. Ultimately, by recognizing the common ground shared by all forms of Buddhism regardless of interpretation or sect affiliation we can begin to address these issues more effectively and foster greater understanding between adherents from different traditions.


In conclusion, reconciling the concept of anatta with the pursuit of enlightenment presents a major problem for Buddhists today; however this issue can be resolved by focusing on core teachings shared across all branches of Buddhism and engaging in constructive dialogue between different schools within the religion. By doing so we can gain better insight into how best to reconcile anatta with enlightenment while still respecting diversity among adherents from different traditions

Samantha Greenfield

Samantha Greenfield was born and raised in a small town in the rural countryside of Washington state. From a young age, she was drawn to the natural world and spent much of her time exploring the forests and fields around her home. As she grew older, she became increasingly interested in the intersection of nature, spirituality, and personal growth, and began to study Buddhism and mindfulness in depth. After completing her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Samantha decided to pursue a career in nature conservation and spent several years working with various non-profit organizations and government agencies on conservation projects around the world. Along the way, she discovered a passion for writing and began to document her adventures and insights in a series of personal blogs and articles. In recent years, Samantha has turned her focus to sharing her knowledge and experiences with a wider audience and has become a popular speaker and workshop leader on topics related to Buddhism, mindfulness, and personal growth. She is currently working on a book about the intersection of nature, spirituality, and mindfulness, and continues to be an active advocate for environmental conservation and sustainability.

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