mindfulness

Universal Wholesome Mind Conditioners

by Peter Carlson on March 5, 2015

This is the first of two discussions about the wholesome cetasikas, the mind conditioners that foster the process of awakening.  The seven factors are confidence, mindfulness, wholesome conscience, fear of consequences (respect for karma), non-attachment, non-aversion (lovingkindness), and equanimity.  Peter described the process of identifying and cultivating these factors as “feeding the angels”.

During the discussion, Peter encouraged participants to develop the ability to quickly identify each mind conditioner as another way to see the impersonality of life experience, that is, that there are moments of awareness of the associated mind conditioners, not a separate, enduring self.

These conditioners are essential elements in the practice of vipassana, developing the process of awakening.  Next week’s discussion will investigate the remaining wholesome conditioners, especially those 12 called “the beautiful pairs”.

The notes for this discussion are found in the next posting.

Mindfulness As An Awakening Factor

by Peter Carlson on September 4, 2014

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.

Here is the .doc file of the notes prepared for this week’s discussion:  SATI As A Factor For Awakening

Next week’s discussion will explore dhamma vicaya bojjhanga, the awakening factor for the investigation of mental phenomena.

Cultivating The Awakening Factors

by Peter Carlson on August 28, 2014

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.

Here are the notes prepared for this presentation and for the next few meetings:   BOJJHANGA-7 AWAKENING FACTORS

2014 One Week Retreat Review

by Peter Carlson on January 24, 2014

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.

Seven Awakening Factors 2014

by Peter Carlson on January 17, 2014

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.

Cultivating Wise Attention

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 […]

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Karma And The Brain

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, […]

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