Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.
Against The Stream
There is a way to navigate this human-ness this being-ness without suffering about it, without taking it all so seriously, so personally, so gravely.
The path of freedom is a gradual loosening of the misidentifications that create our suffering. The Buddha referred to the process as being like the fraying of a tightly wound rope: little by little the rope begins to fray and come apart. These misidentifications are traditionally referred to as the skandhas— “heaps” or “piles”—in Buddhism. The piles result in five different aspects of life that we tend to cling to as our fixed identity or mis-identity:
•the body itself
•the sense impression or feeling tones of the body
•the mind or objects of the thinking mind (which include thoughts and the roots of emotions)
•perception (which includes memory), and consciousness
As long as we hold to the incorrect view that any of these processes of the mind or body comprises who we ultimately are, we are chained to the causes and conditions that give rise to suffering.
Taking any of these experiences as who we are at our core is inevitably going to be a cause of suffering. Why? Because of the uncontrollable and unreliable nature of these ‘piles’ of life. When we believe that we are our bodies, we inevitably feel betrayed by the natural processes of sickness, old age, and death. When we believe that we are our minds, we suffer the fate of almost constant judgment, comparison, and fear.
Freedom comes from the meditative disciplines that allow us to see clearly the impermanent, impersonal, and unsatisfactory nature of these five factors of existence.
I invite you all to join me for the next few months - a Monday night course – on my book “Heart of the Revolution”.
Links in episode notes below.