No Self, Selflessness (Anatta/Anatman) & the Five Aggregates (Part 1)
The concept of no self or selflessness (also known as anatta or anatman in Buddhism) can sometimes be confusing. If there is no self, then who or what is experiencing our present reality? The Buddha taught that there are five aggregates that constitute a living being; however, to solely identify with these is to rob ourselves of knowing our true nature which isn’t defined by these five phenomena.
In this video, I explain in detail what these five aggregates (khandhas or skandhas) are and how the Buddha’s teachings of no self serves as a liberating reminder that our thoughts, feelings and perceptions are not to be taken so seriously; that instead there is a way to live in this world with a greater lightness of being.
This video is Part One of the No Self episodes. You can watch Part Two here.
Suttas used in this video:
“Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)” (SN 22.100), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.100.than.html.
“Bahuna Sutta: To Bahuna” (AN 10.81), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.081.than.html.
“‘When you know for yourselves…’: The Authenticity of the Pali Suttas”, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 23 April 2012, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/authenticity.html.
A list of the 51 Mental Formations
The Five Aggregates: A Study Guide by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
A nice talk on the aggregates by Gil Fronsdal
Another great talk on the five aggregates by Ajahn Brahm
“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.” ~ Eckhart Tolle