The Five Skandhas in Buddhism

the five skandhas in Buddhism

The Five Skandhas in Buddhism In this article I will be going over a core Buddhist teaching on the nature of the Self which is that of the Five Skandhas.  This is one of the trickiest concepts to understand and one that is central to Buddhism.  The concept of self and no-self is also intertwined with this teaching. Skandhas So what are skandhas?  Skandhas in Sanskrit can be translated as “aggregate”, “function”, or “aspect”.  But let’s drill down deeper, so what is an aggregate?  An aggregate is defined as “a whole formed by combining several (typically disparate) elements”.  So I … Continue reading

Right Concentration in Buddhism – The Eighth Spoke

right concentration in buddhism

Right Concentration in Buddhism – The Eighth Spoke of the Wheel The last principle of the Eight-fold Path is called Right Concentration or Samma Samadhi in the ancient Pali language and it refers to the practice of concentration, and is sometimes called “Right Meditation” by focusing on something, such as the breath. Defining Right Concentration Right Concentration in Buddhism means focusing all of your mental faculties onto one physical or mental object and practicing the Four Absorptions/Meditations otherwise known as the Four Dhyanas/Jhanas.  Chan and Zen Buddhism emphasize this step of the Eight-fold path. Chan and is the Chinese form … Continue reading

Right Mindfulness in Buddhism – The Seventh Spoke

right mindfulness in buddhism

Right Mindfulness in Buddhism – The Seventh Spoke of the Wheel The next principle of the Eight-fold Path is called Right Mindfulness which is “samma sati” in the Indian Pali language.  This can be translated in a number of ways: “Right memory”, “right awareness”, “right attention” but it’s important to keep in mind that the word “right” actually translates to “skillful”, “realistic”, “authentic” in the sense that we are performing an action that is conducive to the attainment of enlightenment. Defining Right Mindfulness What is Right Mindfulness in Buddhism?  Simply put it refers to being aware of our body and … Continue reading

Right Effort in Buddhism – The Sixth Spoke of the Wheel

right view in buddhism

Right Effort in Buddhism – The Sixth Spoke of the Wheel The next three spokes of the wheel of Dharma have to do with Concentration (Samadhi) which entails concentrating on a single object of meditation for the realization of Nirvana or enlightenment. In the Indian Pali language the word for right effort is “Samma-Vayama” which can also be translate as “Right endeavor”, “Right Diligence” or we can phrase this as “Authentic/Realistic Endeavour” or “Authentic/Realistic Diligence”. Defining Right Effort At the very basic level, Right Effort in Buddhism means that we exert ourselves to develop wholesome qualities and abandon unwholesome qualities. … Continue reading

Right Livelihood Buddhism – The Fifth Spoke of the Wheel

right livelihood buddhism

Right Livelihood Buddhism & the Fifth Spoke of the Wheel of Dharma This is the fifth principle in the Eightfold Path and the third principle of Buddhist Ethical conduct, together with Right Speech and Right Action. In the ancient Indian Pali language this is called “Samma-ajiva” which translates as “right way of life”, “authentic living”, “skillful living” and refers to the occupation or career that we choose in this life. Defining Right Livelihood According to the Magga-vibhanga Sutta, the Buddha defined it for his disciples as follows: “And what is Right Livelihood?  There is the case where a disciple of the noble … Continue reading