During this talk, Peter described satta visuddhi, the stages of awakening developed to provide “markers” of spiritual attainment after the time of the historical Buddha. Beginning with fulfilling the precepts and setting aside the effects of the hindrances, the cultivation of the seven factors of awakening and vipassana reveals the three characteristics of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and non-self at deeper and deeper levels of awareness. The realization of these different stages develops gradually and progressively, eventually leading to the experience of nibbana (nirvana). Here are the accompanying notes: STAGES OF AWAKENING
Next week’s discussion will focus on the various understandings of the unconditioned from the Buddhist perspective.
During this talk, Peter reviewed the Four Noble Truths, emphasizing the ultimate development of the Noble Eightfold Path, Right Knowledge and Right Release, the transformation of Right Understanding and Right Intention from concept to direct realization. This practice moves from “self state conflict” (the five hindrances) through “self state integration” toward awakening as the seven awakening factors mature through mindfulness practices. He emphasized that awakening is a process, not an identifiable “state” of being. He quoted extensively from an article posted by Gil Fronsdal on the “Tenfold Path” to illustrate the process.
During this talk, Peter summarized the effect of overcoming the five hindrances through the cultivation of the seven factors of awakening. The interaction between the mind’s idealized expected outcome and the self organization that emerges, producing stress, was described as “self state conflicts”. The example used was “I’ll do this perfectly and everyone will be grateful and admire me” to illustrate that this expectation will not show up as predicted, producing stress and confusion. Peter described how activating and perfecting the cooperative functioning of the seven awakening factors produces “self state integration”, the clarity and stability of which provides support for using vipassana for “self state transcendence”, the process of awakening, which will be explored at the next meeting.
Here are the notes that were prepared for the talk:
During this talk, Peter explained upekkha bojjhanga, the equanimity awakening factor. In the process, equanimity was described as the result of effective, dynamic interactions between the other six factors of awakening, which produces the most appropriate balance between joy and tranquility, concentration and investigation of mental phenomena, monitored by mindfulness and effected by energy as right effort. The function of equanimity to bring balance to lovingkindness, compassion and sympathetic joy was explained. Additionally, the dominance of equanimity in the third and fourth jhanas was described, and how this relates to the seven factors of awakening.
This dhamma dialogue continues the exploration of the seven factors of awakening, focused on passadhi, tranquility. During the discussion, Peter explained the different categories where tranquility is placed in addition to a factor for awakening. It’s function of balancing the awakening factor of energy was emphasized, focused on the peaceful quality of the “flow” of energy through different self-states.
During this talk, the awakening factor of joy was described as the consequence of combining the factors of mindfulness, investigation of mental phenomena, energy/effort and concentration. As these factors operate to set aside the “energy dumps” of the five hindrances, the resultant freed-up flow of energy is, by nature, joyfully engaged in life experience. Piti, […]
On Saturday, August 4th, OIMG has an opportunity to work with our friends at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando during their upcoming volunteer day at the Second Harvest Food Bank. Second Harvest provides tremendous community support. Join us as we work together to sort food for local people in need. Children over 10 are […]