The Five Skandhas: The Process of Consciousness
Between lives, within life, moment to moment
Understanding the five skandhas (also known as the Five Aggregates) is a way of exploring and understanding the process of our moment-to-moment experience and coming to see that our experience is always workable, malleable, and not solid. The skandhas are a way to understand that what is happening over and over again is the process of consciousness, a process that appears continuous, but, through our natural awareness and meditative concentration, can be recognized and deconstructed. In a practical sense, it’s a way to begin to understand how we perpetuate our own suffering, how we move from the open, loving awareness of our deepest and most true being into fixed, concept-filled positions about our self and others.
Understanding the skandhas allows us to experience reality in a more direct and genuine way, and to ultimately recognize the innate purity of everything we experience, ourselves included, and the boundless wisdom that is there at the core of all we experience.
What you will learn from this teaching:
- The three categories of the earliest Buddhist written scriptures, and the source in them of this teaching
- Review of the Four Noble Truths, and how this teaching is related
- The root cause of our suffering
- The five stages of the transformation of consciousness from subtle, open non-dual awareness to the suffering of a concept filled duality of self and other— the self that must be protected, often at the cost of the other
- The point in consciousness in which we can choose not to move into suffering
- Introduction to key teachings of Buddhism: the Paramitas, the Four Immeasurables and Interdependent Origination
In addition to the 50-minute video and audio teaching from Lama Döndrup, a 26-minute guided experiential exercise is included by audio recording.
We hope you will enjoy this teaching.
Lama Döndrup is the Resident Lama of Sukhasiddhi Foundation overseeing the curriculum and offerings at Sukhasiddhi in collaboration with the lamas and dharma leaders on the teachers council. She has practiced and studied in the Buddhist tradition for over twenty five years. After five years of Theravadin Buddhist training, she immersed herself in the teachings and practices of the Shangpa and Kagyu Vajrayana lineages. In 2005, she completed a traditional three-year retreat and was authorized as a lama. Upon her return to Marin County, she began teaching classes and leading meditations at Sukhasiddhi Foundation, and in 2020 was authorized by Lama Palden Drolma as Resident Lama. Lama Döndrup is honored to guide students through all stages of the spiritual journey; helping them to feel confident in their own understanding of practices and teachings; and supporting the natural unfolding of their innate wisdom and compassion. In addition to her Buddhist training, Lama Döndrup trained in the Diamond Approach for seven years and has a Masters of Fine Arts degree in piano performance.