This talk explores the current understanding of anxiety and how regular mindfulness meditation practices can foster relief. As a mental health professional, Peter included in the notes the various clinical diagnostic criteria and an overview of the various anxiety disorders. The cultivation of samadhi/passadhi (stable focus of attention/tranquility) was emphasized as a way to reduce heightened levels of anxiety generated by current cultural conditions. This quality of serene awareness provides a stable point of reference from which the cognitive distortions associated with anxiety can be investigated and successfully challenged. Increasing tranquility addresses the Buddhist craving aspect of anxiety, while mindful investigation disrupts the dysfunctional thought processes and addresses the element of the Buddhist perspective on clinging.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: ANXIETY AND THE DHARMA
The anticipated talk next week will involve a report from Mike Maldonado on the lovingkindness meditation retreat he is currently experiencing at the Southern Dharma Center in North Carolina. The anticipated talk the following week will focus on a specific anxiety disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and what mindfulness meditation can offer in providing relief from that highly disruptive condition.