In this talk, the awakening factor of energy/effort is described. Peter talked of how the universe is essentially energy, and that the sense of separation that humans struggle with is a profound, fundamental error of thinking. He described that energy is distributed throughout the body in the form of glucose, as fuel for the cells. In the brain, the activities of the mind can be observed through modern technologies such as the fMRI machine. This research shows that energy “pools” in areas of heightened neural activity. The mental dysfunctions called hindrances grow stronger when “fed” glucose. The same feeding occurs as the hindrances are diminished. In this way, mental formations can be compared to muscles, which grow stronger when exercised. Peter suggested that the struggles occurring during meditation practice are mistakenly attributed to mindfulness of breathing; in reality, mindful investigation of mental phenomena reveals that the struggle comes from how the hindrances are “energy dumps”, and that the experience of mindfulness of breathing without the hindrances is a much more “efficient” use of energy.
Here is a copy of the notes prepared for this week’s talk: ENERGY AWAKENING FACTOR
Next week’s talk will focus on the next awakening factor, Joy.