Salayatana, The Six Sense Bases, May 20, 2020

This talk focuses on reviewing Salayatana (sah-lah-yah-tuh-nah), the Six Sense Bases, a concept for contemplation found in the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness: the eyes and seeing, ears and hearing, nose and smelling, tongue and tasting, reflected in the mind with cognition.  All sensory stimulation is processed through the functions of the mind, referring incoming stimulation with categories relating to prior experience.  This process manifests as the subjective experience of being a self relating to the world, and this whole process is to be understood and deconstructed, discovering the absence of an enduring and autonomous self.  Skillful attention is cultivated to investigate the distinction between the sensory stimuli and the transient and insubstantial fabricating function of the mind, a concept called namarupa, with nama representing the meaning-making process and rupa the sensory stimuli. The This talk is meant to be supplemented by the recorded “Guarding The Sense Doors” meditation found in the audio archive.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Salayatana, The Six Sense Bases

During the talk Peter referred to another important concept for contemplation, paticca samuppada, (pah-tee-chah sahm-ooh-pah-dah), translated as dependent origination; the title here reflects a different approach to understanding the concept:  Contingent Provisional Emergence

Next week’s talk will focus on the next conceptual topic in the Fourth Foundation, the Five Aggregates With Clinging.


The Six Sense Bases And Fetters July 25 2018

This talk focuses on “deconstructing” the misconception of an enduring and autonomous self, exploring the process through which the raw data of sensory stimulation is transformed by mind conditioners into what the Buddha called “The tyranny of I, Me and Mine”.  A fetter is the action of craving and clinging related to the emerging internal narrative in the creation of the self.  Peter then suggested how mindfulness meditation fosters the ability to see how the processes operate rather than attaching a self to the content of each moment of subjective experience.  This explanation was followed by discussion among those present regarding how they might use this information to understand Buddhist practices more beneficially.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  THE SIX SENSE BASES AND THE FETTERS

Next week’s discussion will begin identifying the Seven Awakening Factors and how to cultivate them, key skills for advancing the process of Awakening.


Transforming Sensations Into A Self

This talk continues to explore the suggestions offered in “The Mind Illuminated” that help understand how prior experience makes meaning of raw sensational data.  Peter first quotes part of the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness that focuses on what Thanissaro calls “the six sense media”, then describes Culadasa’s “sub-minds” concept that provides a more contemporary and psychological understanding of transient self-state organizations.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Transforming Sensations Into A Self


Sense Bases and Fetters

This week we talked about how Buddhism considers the processing of the senses through the conditioning factors of the mind.  When the mind experiences the same patterns of resistance, craving and confusion repeatedly, they become deep-seated fetters, or binders to suffering.  The path to awakening involves starving these fetters, much as starving a weed eliminates it, rather than just cutting it off, allowing it to regrow.