Perspectives on the Awakening Process
The Five Aggregates
One way of dividing up the conditioned realm is into five aggregates (khandhas)—
- body (rupa),
- feeling (vedana),
- perception (sanna),
- mental formations (sankhara) and
- consciousness (vinnana).
When I first started meditating many years ago, I could understand the definitions of the five aggregates, but I did not know their reality; I had never really contemplated these things in an intuitive way through observing my own body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, or consciousness. Initially, I really only contemplated the physical body, the four elements (earth, fire water and air), the parts of the body (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, etc) and the body itself. I contemplated material things, anything formed. (more…)
As soon as there is ‘self’, there is selfishness. These two are very different, nonetheless, they are inseparable. The ‘self arises, then selfishness comes. And selfishness is a powerful and destructive burden which can easily be observed in oneself and in the world.
Selfishness gives rise to love, greed, anger, hatred, fear, worry, frustration, envy, jealousy, possessiveness. All of these are aspects of selfishness. Love through fear and worry, are just different aspects of selfishness. All this is such a powerfully destructive burden upon the mind. It weighs the mind down. If we get outside of our little worlds and start to observe what is really happening around us and also within us, if we come out of our clouds, break free of our daydreams, and really look, we shall see all this selfishness and all the harm and pain that it causes, both to ourselves and to others, This is the burden of selfishness. (more…)
The Five Protections Against Sorrow
In Buddhism it is taught that everything that happens to us, good or bad, is the result of our previous actions — it is our karma. Refraining from five kinds of unskilful action will result in peace of mind and true happiness. In order to be protected against sorrow, therefore, one should:
• refrain from harming anything;
• refrain from taking that which is not freely given;
• refrain from all forms of immorality or any action which is subject to blame;
• refrain from speaking falsely, harshly, or unkindly;
• refrain from indulging in anything which causes the mind to lose its natural clarity, such as drugs or alcohol.
By refraining from these unskilful actions, one will experience the peace and happiness of one’s true nature, one’s Buddha-nature.
The Great Way starts beneath one’s feet
The talk starts after the chanting.
MP3 Dhammacakka Teaching, by Ajahn Sumedho
Other posts by Ajahn Sumedho
Thanks to Dhamma Talks UK
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Compose your minds, look inwards and become aware of the here and now ― the body, the breath, the mental state, the mood you are in ― without trying to control or judge or do anything; just allow everything to be what it is.
For many people the attitude towards meditation is one of always trying to change something, always trying to attain a particular state or recreate some kind of blissful experience remembered from the past, or of hoping to reach a certain state by practising. When we practise meditation with the idea of having to do something, however, then even the idea of practice ― even the word ‘meditation’ ― will bring up this idea that ‘if I’m in a bad mood, I should get rid of it’, or ‘if the mind is scattered and I’m all over the place, I should make it one-pointed’. In other words, we make meditation into hard work. So then there is a great deal of failure in it because we try to control everything through these ideas, but that is an impossibility. (more…)
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Experience Beyond Thinking
Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation.
by Diana St Ruth
ISBN 13: 978-0946672264
ISBN 10: 0946672261
Buddhist Publishing Group
Paperback, 172 pages
£9.95 / $14.95
An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation and the reflections of an ordinary practitioner.
If you want to learn how to meditate, this is the book for you.
You can buy Experience Beyond Thinking from the Book Depository for around £7.50 with free worldwide delivery. See below for other online sites.
Have the courage to let a thought slip by and not chase after it. Not clinging to thought, not rejecting it, the mind will open to a natural awareness. And awareness moves where life moves, not where hopes, fears, and wishes move. Come away from the wandering dreamy mind into the reality of the moment and cling to nothing. Be totally free. This is a distinct possibility for you, for me, and for anyone who has the courage to trust life, fore go the past, and allow the moment to be itself.
Living Compassion is edited highlights of H.H. the Dalai Lama’s public talks and Buddhist teachings given at Nottingham, UK in May 2008.
In an accessible, humorous and lively manner he offers precious insights into the universal human values of forgiveness and tolerance. He further suggests that not only must we find peace within ourselves, but also that we must cultivate compassion by living our compassion, thereby transforming ourselves and the world around us.