This evening’s meeting focused on the crucial role cetana, the Pali word translated as intention or volition, plays in the ongoing process of self-state organization. Cetana is a “universal mind conditioner”, functioning in each moment of self-state organization to coordinate the various conditioning factors involved in the process. Intention operates through the each of the “six sense bases”, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, body sensations and cognitive processes. Using the concept developed in the book “The Mind Illuminated”, Peter described how intention shapes the perceptual processes in each of the sense bases; the most potent of the products of the various sense bases will be further processed by emotionally charged memory associations and will emerge into consciousness. The benefit of cultivating the intention to mindfully and persistently investigate the sensation of breathing is the manifestation of samadhi/passadhi, a flow of conscious awareness that is stable and tranquil. This unifies the sense bases and produces the conditions most effective for the practice of vipassana, that is, insight into the conditioned nature of personal experience, liberating the mind from distress and confusion.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: THE IMPORTANCE OF INTENTION
There will not be a posted dharma dialogue next week because of the one week residential meditation retreat. On February 22, participants in the retreat will review their retreat experiences for posting on the website.