The Five Aggregates And Emptiness

by Peter Carlson on September 7, 2017

The concept of emptiness (sunnata in Pali) is a core aspect of the Buddhist Awakening process.  This is the first of two discussions of emptiness, with the focus on how the operation of the Five Aggregates, Form, Feeling, Perception, Mental Formations and Consciousness creates the false belief in a separate, enduring and autonomous self.  Each of the aggregates is described, with the emphasis on how craving and clinging affect mental formations and consciousness, creating what the Buddha called “The tyranny of I, Me and Mine”.  The ability to use mindful investigation with the underpinning of understanding the operation of the Five Aggregates to see through the illusory self was explained.  Emptiness is the creativity that is available when a person deconstructs the process of craving and clinging.

This was followed by a lengthy and lively discussion of the evening’s topic.

Here are the notes prepared for this discussion:  Emptiness And The Five Aggregates

Next week’s discussion will be organized around exploring how deepening one’s meditation practice provides a different way to recognize the reality of emptiness and benefits that can be realized from consistent daily meditation.

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