This talk is a continuation of several focused on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse, in particular, the part of the Fourth Foundation describing how to identify and overcome the Five Hindrances. In this case, the hindrance is thina/middha, sloth and torpor. This quality of mind is overly sedated, drowsy and lacking in sufficient energy to investigate emerging self-state organizations. The antidote for sloth and torpor involves a more energetic application of the intention to bring focused attention to the breath sensations and maintain this focus persistently. When this strategy is insufficient, other useful remedies found in the traditional teachings were described. Peter emphasized that, when one participates in a retreat lasting at least a week, there comes a period of time when awareness “wakes up”, becoming more alert, manageable and sensitized to mental processes. This insight reveals how often our everyday consciousness is impaired by “subtle dullness”, such as when daydreaming. This was accompanied by discussion regarding how this hindrance affects various people attending the talk.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: OVERCOMING SLOTH AND TORPOR
The topic of next week’s talk will be overcoming restlessness and worry.