cetasikas

The Virtuous Cetasikas

by Peter Carlson on December 1, 2016

This talk focused on the mind conditioners associated with virtue, that is, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Compassion and Sympathetic Joy.  The maturing of the wholesome cetasikas presents the virtues of the Noble Eightfold Path as being organized through the shift from being virtuous “because I’m supposed to” towards virtue manifesting “effortlessly” and authentically.  As the wholesome functions of the mind become more effective, the natural expression of compassion and sympathetic joy/generosity emerges, associated with Right Speech, Action and Livelihood.  The explanation was followed by interested participation by those at the meeting in reflecting on how these manifestations are realized through regular, diligent mindfulness meditation practice.

Next week’s talk will finalize the discussion of the cetasikas with a review of Right Understanding.  The approach will be similar in describing the association between increasing the functionality of the wholesome cetasikas to make Right Understanding realized, that is, to be understood experientially as well as conceptually–an important realization on the path towards Awakening.

Universal Wholesome Cetasikas

by Peter Carlson on October 27, 2016

During this talk, Peter describes the categories of mind-conditioning functions called cetasikas that are always operating when the mind is free from dukkha, that is, unburdened from the distress and confusion caused by craving and clinging.  The descriptions clarified the ways these cetasikas, particularly mindfulness, set aside the dysfunctional five hindrances.

Here are the notes prepared for this discussion, including a graphic that illustrates the dynamic interactions of the wholesome conditioners involved in the practice of vipassana:  universal-wholesome-cetasikas

Next week’s discussion will focus on the “Beautiful Pairs” of cetasikas, that is the harmonious interactions between consciousness (citta) and cetasikas (Those conditioning functions that “belong to” the citta).  These functions are cultivated through diligent practice of mindfulness of breathing meditation, promoting a flow of subjective experience that is remarkably productive of insight into the nature of experienced reality.

Universal Unwholesome Mind Conditioners

by Peter Carlson on October 13, 2016

This week’s talk describes the first 8 unwholesome cetasikas.  The first 4, ignorance/delusion, shamelessness/absence of conscience, recklessness/heedlessness and restlessness/mental agitation.  They function cooperatively to shape every self-state organization.  the second 4, desire/attachment, wrong view, conceit/self-absorption and aversion/ill-will, may or may not cooperate with the universal unwholesome cetasikas.  The 8 cetasikas were discussed in depth, followed by questions and comments from others present at the meeting.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  the-unwholesome-mind-conditioners

Next week’s talk will describe the remaining unwholesome cetasikas, envy, stinginesss, sloth, torpor and skeptical doubt

Occasional Mind Conditioners

by Peter Carlson on September 30, 2016

During this talk, the exploration of the 52 cetasikas, categories that condition how the mind creates a self continues.  The focus is the Universal Cetasikas, that is mind conditioning categories that occasionally coordinate with the Universal Cetasikas.  These occasional cetasikas are vitakka, (aiming attention at a mind object), vicara, (sustained attention regarding a mind object), adhimokkha, (conviction or determination regarding a mind object’s formation), viriya (energy or persistence regarding the emerging mind object formation), piti, (enthusiasm regarding the emerging mind object formation) and chanda, (will to do, that is, the activating of the emerging mind object formation).

These mind conditioners co-operate with the Universal Cetasikas; these combinations are then aligned either with unwholesome cetasikas (producing dukkha, that is, confusion and distress) or wholesome cetasikas (producing liberation from dukkha).

Peter talked about how the simple practice of mindfulness of breathing supports liberation because mindfulness (a wholesome mind conditioner), when combined with vitakka, vicara and viriya supports deeper insights into how self-state organization is manifested, in the moment of becoming a self.

This was followed by discussion by the other meditators regarding how this understanding of self-organization processes is of benefit for dedicated meditators.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  the-occasional-cetasikas

Universal Mind Conditioners

by Peter Carlson on September 22, 2016

This talk continues to explore the functioning of the cetasikas, the categories of factors that condition the mind.  The focus this week in on the “Universal Cetasikas”, that is, the cetasikas that cooperate in the formation of a self in every moment of consciousness: Contact, Volition, Concentration, Vitality and Attention.  The remaining universal cetasikas, Feeling and Perception, were discussed in depth during the last talk, September 14.  Peter emphasized that these conditioners align and cooperate with other cetasikas, whether they are wholesome or unwholesome in their function.

The explanations were followed by group discussion to clarify the functions and application of the cetasikas during the process of awakening.

Here are the notes prepared for this week’s talk:  universal-conditioning-functions.

Additionally, here is the .doc file listing the 52 cetasikas in total:  CETASIKAS POSTER

Next week’s talk will function on the group of cetasikas called “Occasional” or “Particular” cetasikas, which may or may not be included in a moment of self-state organization.

Abhidhamma A Psychology For Awakening

During this talk, Peter described the Abhidhamma, the Buddhist approach to psychology.  A distinction was made between the term cetasika, which is a category where memories are “stored” and sankhara, the content of the stored memory.  This analysis was followed with a lively discussion period. The next talk will begin more in-depth exploration of the […]

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Cultivating Wholesome Emergent Self States

This talk follows on the preceding exploration of paticca sammupada, traditionally translated as dependent origination, a foundational concept of Buddhist liberation practices.  During the previous talk, the organization of the 12 elements of the process of “selfing” was described, using non-linear terms.  This talk reviewed the 12 elements, emphasizing how clear awareness of the transition from […]

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