Liberation through Non-Clinging: An Exploration of the Five Aggregates
With Jill Shepherd
December 3 - 8, 2019
The goal of the Buddhist path is sometimes defined as “liberation through non-clinging.” But what is meant by clinging? In the First Noble Truth, the Buddha proclaimed that there is dukkha (suffering, stress, distress, unsatisfactoriness), and he defined dukkha in short as “the five clinging-aggregates” of form, feeling-tone, perception, formations, and consciousness. To have any possibility of experiencing the freedom of non- clinging, we first need to understand the nature of our clinging more fully. In this five-day retreat, we will explore the five clinging-aggregates through a combination of silent sitting and walking meditation, sutta study, and interpersonal practice in pairs and small groups using the guidelines of Insight Dialogue. Practicing in solitude and together, we can directly experience not only the dukkha of clinging, but the possibility of its release.
To cultivate an experiential understanding of how clinging to the five aggregates causes suffering; how to free oneself from these different areas of clinging; to have new understanding about how clinging/identification constructs a sense of self; and how releasing clinging brings insight into anatta or not-self.
Jill began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999, and since that time has lived and worked at several meditation centers and monasteries in the US, Australia, England, and Thailand. She recently spent seven years on staff at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, where she participated in…
Learn more about Jill Shepherd