Click here to join our daily meditations to support establishing a regular sitting practice.

I think I am…Understanding self and non-self, through the five aggregates

With Dave Smith recorded on November 4, 2018.

Found our teachings useful? Help us continue our work and support your teachers with a donation. Here’s how.

One of the most puzzling and profound aspects of Dharma is the teaching of anatta; translated as non-self. For us living in the modern world, with the emergence of social media and the over emphasis and obsession with self, how can we use this teaching in a way that is constructive, authentic, relevant and realistic.

Before we get all worked up and confused about the non-self, it probably in our best interest to understand how the self is constructed and what are the conditions and causes in which it operates. We may be best served in our lives and practice if we can form a healthy and contented sense of self before we dismiss its presence thru some esoteric understanding that can often lead to destructive outcomes for our-selves, in the common form of a spiritual bypass.

A core and classic teaching that is rich throughout the Buddhist tradition is that of the five aggregates: forms, feelings, perceptions, inclinations and consciousness. It is through these aggregates where the self is created, it also where clinging and suffering occur, thus making it a crucial domain where our practice can serve us best.

In this online class, Dave discusses how we can use the practice of Dharma to cultivate a constructive sense of self, and at the same time, point us to ways we can deconstruct aspects of self that lead to suffering.

Listen to the audio version below, or click here to download the mp3.

Discussion

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Discover more from the Dharma Library

  • photo of Martin Aylward smiling

    Leaning Into Collapse

    The fires and floods of this summer, and the ongoing pandemic and its complexities, can weigh heavy on the heart, along with the shocking but unsurprising new IPCC report confirming the ‘inevitable and irreversible’ worsening effects of the climate disruption, ecological collapse and existential emergency we are already living through. This class, led by Sangha…

    Read More

  • photo of Martin Aylward smiling

    Warrior heart: transforming anger into strength, dynamism and creativity

    Dharma teachings point to how dangerous and destructive anger is, and how words and actions can cause great suffering. This class looks at skilful means for meeting and exploring anger, and for understanding and transforming it. Martin leads a specially oriented meditation, and his talk explores the inner strength and confidence which can arise from…

    Read More

  • Lila Kimhi

    Right view – a path to liberation.

    The practice and realizaton of Right View is the first of the eightfold path. Holding to views and opinions is a sure way to suffering, says the Buddha. But can we live with no views at all? To realize Right View we have to look deeply into life, in order to free ourselves from wrong…

    Read More

  • Stephen Fulder

    From Mindfulness to Dharma: The Fourth Foundation

    The huge popularity of mindfulness is accompanied by a lot of confusion in relation to mindfulness in and of itself and how much it embodies the wider teachings of the Buddha. What is dharma? When, if and how is mindfulness the same as or different from dharma? This topic will be discussed in relation to…

    Read More

  • photo of Martin Aylward smiling

    Daily Meditation Recordings, with Martin Aylward – Week of May 25

    We’re fortunate that Martin Aylward has generously offered to lead our daily meditation sessions for Europe and the UK this week. To find out more about Martin, and view his other recordings on the platform, click here. Monday, May 25 Appreciation, surrender and generosity Wednesday, May 27 The ten paramis: wisdom and energy Friday, May…

    Read More