This talk continues a review of the contemplations found in the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness, namely the Five Aggregates. An overview of the interactions between Form, Feeling, Perception, Mind Conditioning Factors and Consciousness is provided, relating the aggregates to the other Foundations of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse, using several quotes from Analayo’s “Satipatthana–The Direct Path To Realization”. Also included is a brief review of the next contemplation, the Six Sense Bases, as these are represented by the Form aggregate. Because this contemplation provides a key insight into the concept of Dependent Origination, several subsequent Dharma talks will provide a review of the Mind Conditioning Factors, numbering 52 in the commentaries, and called Cetasikas, because of the key function these factors provide in Dependent Origination. After reviewing the cetaskikas the Dependent Origination concept will then be considered. The Cetasikas and Dependent Origination are not described in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse, but understanding how they operate is a key component in the process of Awakening.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: Understanding The Five Aggregates
An important book that analyses the Five Aggregates entitled “The Five Aggregates–Understanding Theravada Psychology and Soteriology” by Matthieu Boisvert can be downloaded in .pdf format here: The-Five-Aggregates-Understanding-Theravada-Psychology-Soteriology (Soterilogy is the study of salvation).
Next week’s talk will focus on beginning a review of the Cetasikas with the “Universal Mind Conditioners”, which function in every moment of consciousness.
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The Panca Khandha, the Five Aggregates of Clinging, represents an important concept regarding how to “deconstruct” the view that there is an enduring and autonomous self. Investigating the presence and effect of the Five Aggregates is an important practice in the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness, Mindfulness of Mental Phenomena. Each of the Aggregates was reviewed as well as how each is integral to the view of the self. After Awakening, the Five Aggregates no longer involve clinging and this represents liberation from Dukkha, distress and confusion. Here are the notes prepared for this talk: THE FIVE AGGREGATES OF CLINGING
This review was followed by a question and answer period to clarify practice points from the discussion and the day’s meditation practice.
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This dialogue is a continuation of the previous week’s discussion. During the discussion, Peter led a guided meditation on how to use the four elements contemplations to provide a consistent focus for interrupting the elaboration the mind creates in the “selfing story.” This exercise was followed by a sharing from the attending Sangha members regarding their experience during the exercise and discussion of how this practice can benefit the process of awakening. Next week’s exploration will include the contemplation of vedana (feeling) and sanna (perception), with the hope that this information will further the process of understanding the Five Aggregates of Clinging.
Continuing the ongoing exploration of the Four Noble Truths, Peter described the concept of the Five Aggregates affected by clinging, which is referred to in the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness teaching. Using a graphic illustration, he showed how the factors of perception and feeling create a “bridge” between incoming sense data and the further processing that occurs before conscious awareness (the graphic and accompanying notes are posted on the site as well). Without the benefit of mindfulness, concentration and tranquility, perception is biased and distorted by the conditioning factors, with the result that what is transitory and non-self is misperceived as enduring and a self. The practice of vipassana can reveal the misperception and reorient the energy of the mind toward clear awareness and benevolent intention. This is the process of awakening.
during the next dialogue, Peter will describe how a conceptual and experiential understanding of perception and feeling is contained within the doctrine of paticca samuppada, dependent origination. Peter will develop a different translation of this term, as “contingent provisional emergence”