This talk provides a review of pancasammupada, the Five Aggregates With Clinging, an important Buddhist concept describing how personality is organized. When Peter was in Graduate School, part of the required curriculum was a course on personality theory, citing such authorities as Freud and Jung, among others. One of the chapters, written by Daniel Goleman, focused on Buddhism as a theory of personality, with the five aggregates as the topic of interest. The aggregates represent the dynamic interaction between external reality and various functions operating within the mind to impose meaning and a sense of self.
These aggregates were reviewed to clarify how mindfulness practices provide opportunities to “deconstruct” the aggregates, fostering the process of awakening from distress and confusion.
Critical analysis is often termed critical thinking, and is a very important skill to cultivate in this era, as we are constantly bombarded with manipulative advertising and political “spin”. In the Buddhist conceptual structure, one of the 7 factors for awakening is called dhammavicaya, that is, the intentional, mindful investigation of mental phenomena. This talk describes how the practice of intentionally and mindfully investigating the changing sensations of breathing matures into the ability to critically analyze how the mind creates an internal narrative in response to external circumstances, and then determine whether the narrative fosters a benevolent and effective response.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: BUDDHISM AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS During the talk, Peter quoted parts of the Kalama Sutta, which focuses on the Buddha’s description of the value of critical analysis to support the process of awakening. Here is that sutta: Kalama Sutta
This discussion continues to explore the application of mindfulness and compassion to interpersonal conflict resolution. Peter introduced some points from the website metta.org focused on procedures developed in Gregory Kramer’s book “Insight Dialogue-The Interpersonal Path to Freedom”. Kramer’s work closely parallels what has been explored in previous discussions on this topic, in this case specifically related to fostering close relationships in the context of current political conflicts. These approaches were also related to discussions in previous meetings of the Tibetan Buddhist lojong mind training and conflict resolution.
Regretably, we are having some technical software problems, so there’s no .mp3 post for this talk. We are taking steps to fix the problems, so hopefully the posts will resume as usual next week. Here are the notes Peter prepared for the talk: NEGOTIATING A MIDDLE WAY The gist of the talk presented some of the principles of Right Speech in the context of modern strategies for interpersonal conflict resolution.
The Fish Lake Sangha, a local Zen group in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, will initiate a series of memorial meetings this Sunday, the 31st, to commemorate those lost at the Pulse Nightclub. Here is the attached announcement providing more detailed information: 49 Day Ceremony Invitation
This week’s talk continues to explore how Buddhist principles and practices can support developing wisdom in the current political environment. Racism, sexism, homophobia and ethnophobia were described as themes woven into the fabric of political divisiveness. The intention regarding this presentation is to support being able to stay presently aware and compassionate when confronted by […]
This talk follows on the previous talk entitled “Mindfulness And Political Judgment” from July 6. Peter again emphasized the intention of the talk is to demonstrate that rigid thinking and the potential for aggression, psychologically termed “conservatism” is evident in the current political conflicts, whether the conservative is a republican or democrat. The psychological terms […]