Teaching: Continuing from Asanga’s Shravakabhumi, Alan introduces the second thorough training by way of the aggregates. Asanga begins by explaining the characteristics of achieving shamatha—i.e., 1) pliancy in the mind, 2) pliancy in the body, and 3) single-pointedness taking delight in the object. Having achieved shamatha, we return to the desire realm in an expedition to gain insight into the five aggregates: 1) form in terms of mindfulness of breathing, 2) feelings (positive/negative/neutral) arising with the mindfulness of breathing, 3) recognition associated with the mindfulness of breathing, 4) volition associated with the intention to sustain mindfulness of breathing, and 5) mind as composite.
Meditation: mindfulness of breathing followed by mindfulness of phenomena (aggregates). In the first half of the session, practice the mindfulness of breathing practice of your choice. In the second half… 1) know the domain of the body as aggregate of form, 2) recognize feeling associated with mindfulness of breathing, 3) recognize your recognition of the qualities of the breath, 4) recognize that volition which impels the practice, 5) direct attention to awareness itself amidst mindfulness of breathing. Open your eyes, and let awareness flood the 6 domains of experience, illuminating all 5 skandhas.
Q1. If my main practice is awareness of awareness, what should I do in between sessions?
Q2. In mindfulness of aggregates that we just did, do we practice mindfulness of breathing and mindfulness of the feelings associated with mindfulness of breathing? In the final instruction to expand awareness to the 5 sense domains, what exactly is the object?
Q3. Are aggregates and skandhas the same thing?
Q4. Some contents in the mind appear to be more obvious than others. Is this due to grasping?
Meditation starts at 30:05