Posted by David S. (126.96.36.199) on October 06, 2000 at 05:51:09:
In Reply to: Thankyou... posted by Aaron on October 04, 2000 at 21:59:17:
Hi Aaron, glad we could all give you something useful.
To become more aware of the five skandhas is to become aware of yourself and the real nature of your self. Indeed you can benefit greatly from raising your awareness of them.
As with all Buddhist practices, and any practice for that matter, it's best to go at it very patiently and step by step.
In my own practice I have found the following method very useful..
First take them one at a time, starting with form.
Find some reading material about the five skandhas, in books or on-line or both. Read about them all, but pay special attention to form and what it is, what it refers to.
During this time you are studying, also look into how this skandha can be found in you and your life. Think about it while you read, but most importantly look into it while you are out and about in everything you do. Of course you won't always remember to contemplate form, to look into form, but do as much as you can. Try to be diligent.
Don't think of any outcome or anything you need to see, or should see, just find out for yourself how the Buddhist teachings of what form is actually shows up in your own life.
After you spend some time on form, you still won't be "enlightened" to what form is, but you'll have a better understanding - maybe after a week or two, or three. Then do the same for sensation, then for perception, etc. At first just find out what each refers to. Of course you won't be able to help but look into the others to some degree while focusing on one, but make one your primary focus at a time to give your mind an achor and a clear sense of purpose.
So in the first such round, just try to find out what these skandhas refer to in you and your life.
Then, after that round is finished, do another round, going from one to the next again. In the second round, since you then have some better idea what you are looking at, try and look into some characterisitic of the skandha, such as it's being impermanent, a composite, unsatisfactory (leads to suffering), not-self. Observe it in your own life and it will mean very much to you. Much much more than just knowing the theory abstractly.
Most importantly, take your time, be thorough, and don't be in a hurry. Having this attitude will allow your mind to be calm, which will let you see into yourself more clearly.
If you are serious about doing this, you may want to bring up some of your observations over time on this discussion board or to a teacher you have locally. This will first let you share your learning with others, and second will let people possibly help you integrate some of the things you notice into the Dharma perspective.
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