During this dharma dialogue, the awakening factor of mindfulness was described. Peter referred to a Wikipedia definition of metacognition, a psychological term developed without reference to Buddhist psychology, that seems to be synonymous with mindfulness. The neurological research describing which parts of the brain activated in the process of mindful awareness was described as well. Following this, there was a brief guided meditation to emphasize recognition of the present function of mindfulness of the body as a stable point of reference supporting vipassana practice.
This is the first of several dialogues exploring the bojjhangas, the seven factors of awakening. During this talk, Peter describes the relationship between the awakening factors and the five powers. He also described the evolution of the factors through the process of setting aside the hindrances preparatory to the practice of vipassana. The awakening factors that comprise vipassana were described. Next week’s dialogue will explore the individual factors in detail, with guided meditations to facilitate recognizing their function.
Much of the transformation in the brain during a retreat occurs outside of conscious awareness. We’ve realized over the years of retreat experience that talking about it, “thinking out loud”, with a group of well-informed people helps integrate the learning and insight, making it more clearly understood and accessible in daily life. This dialogue reviewed various retreat participant’s experience during the retreat and upon returning home.
During this talk, Peter explained how these seven factors, led by mindfulness, function. Initially, in their undeveloped, weakest form, they apply a counter to the action of the five hindrances. As the hindrances are set aside and the function of the mind becomes clarified, coherent and energized, the seven factors are matured in their function: “During the first stages of practice, they function to ward of the demons; as that is accomplished, they function to feed the angels!” The angels are mental clarity, compassion, generosity, kindness, etc.
During this talk, Peter described the relationship between the various factors that support the development of yoniso manasikara, wise attention. Attention that is wise manifests as mindful, tranquil, equanimous, tranquil, agile, pliant wieldy, proficient and accurate. This well-developed attention is capable of investigating emerging self-states, turning away from the unwholesome and nurturing the fulfillment of the wholesome.
During this dialogue about the practice of Right Action, Peter again emphasizes the importance of combining a deepening understanding of our internal processes through mindfulness practice with a revisiting of the classic concepts and jargon of the Buddha. Peter offered some information from modern neuroscientific research that suggests how karma is formed through memory consolidation, […]
During this dialogue, Tommy reviewed the last two presentations Peter provided on craving and clinging. Tommy’s frequent use of facilitating questions opened up a lively dialogue among the folks attending. Wendy asked for comments from others about how they approach cultivating mindfulness at the start of the day, and received an abundance of reports from […]