Understanding How The Mind Works

by Peter Carlson on January 26, 2017

This talk continues to explore practical suggestions from the book “The Mind Illuminated”.  The current focus is on the concepts of “Focused Attention”, “Peripheral Awareness”, “Strong Distraction”, “Strong Dullness”, “Subtle Distraction” and “Subtle Dullness”.  Following on the post of January 18, Peter emphasized the importance to cultivate these wholesome mental qualities: “Ardent, alert and mindful”, which are mentioned repeatedly in the Satipatthana Sutta, among others in the Pali Canon.  These three wholesome qualities enhance Focused Attention to overcome the self-state organizations of distraction and dullness, thereby setting the conditions for the practice of vipassana, insight into the conditioned nature of experience.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Observing How The Mind Works

This talk was preceded by a recorded guided meditation that fostered experiential understanding of “Focused Attention” and the other above mentioned concepts, and is also posted here.  During the meditation, the cultivation of “ardent, alert and mindful” focused attention was emphasized.

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