Immersed in the Body
September 19, 2004

Some people think that when the Buddha describes the five aggregates he’s describing what we are, but that’s precisely what he’s not saying. He’s saying that we’re not that. But the mind does identify with these things — sometimes with the body, sometimes with feelings, perceptions, thought-formations, sometimes with sensory consciousness, sometimes different combinations, sometimes all of the above. If you could take a movie of the mind’s sense of itself, it would be erratic and mercurial, like a reflection on water — slithering here and there, identifying with this, identifying with that, shape-shifting all the time. In changing position all the time like this, the mind expends a lot of energy. One of the things that we want to try to do as we meditate is to get it to stay in one place, to save some energy. As long as you’re going to have a sense of self, keep it solid — rock solid — immersed in the body.