Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Experience is comprised of five groups (skandhas) of experience: sensations, feelings, thoughts and emotions, impulses, and consciousness. The sense of self is a projection of continuity and independence onto experiences which are actually impermanent and dependent, arising and disappearing depending on causes and conditions.

The reactive emotions that lead to suffering are part the self’s habitual emotional and behavioral attempts to cling to pleasant experiences, push away threatening experiences, and ignore neutral experiences.

Attachment, aversion, and ignoring are the traditional three poisons that push the cycle of reactivity. Reactive patterns, since they are based on false projections of independence, permanence, and control, never deliver the satisfaction they seek.

Fully experiencing sensations, feelings, emotions and thoughts, and impulses in attention, knowing them to be experiences and not facts, breaks the cycle of reactivity, and gradually dispels the confusion and projections that result in cycles of suffering.

~ for a graphic depiction of the five skandhas, click here

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