The five hindrances are a set of mental factors that hinder progress in meditation and in our daily lives. This group of five hindrances is identified in the Pali tradition and the Sanskrit tradition as well as the contemporary Insight Meditation tradition.

  1. Sensory desire: A type of wanting that seeks for happiness through the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching.
  2. Ill-will: All kinds of thought related to wanting to reject. This includes feelings of hostility, resentment, hatred and bitterness.
  3. Sloth-torpor: Heaviness of body and dullness of mind which drag one down into disabling inertia and thick depression.
  4. Restlessness-worry: The inability to calm the mind.
  5. Doubt: Lack of conviction or trust.

Contemporary teachers emphasize that these factors should not be understood as personal failings, but rather as mental factors or “enemies” that arise in the minds of all humans. Through working with these factors in the context of meditation practice, we also learn to work with them in daily life. Contemporary Theravada teacher Ajahn Sumedho states:

In meditation one develops an understanding of the Five Hindrances–how, when one of them is present, you investigate it, you understand it, you accept its presence and you learn how to deal with it.

This quotation, then, is the format we will use in this workshop.

Mindfulness is the universal antidote to all of the hindrances. Beyond your practice, here is the way we engage in investigation of our thinking in order to achieve insight:

Step 1: Observe (and accept).

Step 2: Investigate your thinking. Noting how our thoughts are supporting or sabotaging our aspirations. Are they nourishing our personal values and life goals?

Step 3: Act. Taking wise action by eliminating non-beneficial thinking; establishing brave action; creating accountability.

The Insight Meditation tradition teaches a way to temper our hindrances. They are not simply afflictions we must endure.The way out is cultivating better states of mind. We invite you to join a small group of people gathering to improve their practice and live with more clarity and aliveness.

Required Reading: Unhindered: A Mindful Path Through the Five Hindrances by Gil Fronsdal. Click Here to purchase on Amazon.

The class is taught by Lezlie Laws. Click here for more information about Lezlie.

  • When: April 20, 2024 9:00am-1:00pm and follow up on April 27, 2024 9:00am-1:00pm
  • Registration: Limited to 8 participants. Email Lezlie Laws to register.
  • Where: 1289 Harmon Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789 (Lezlie Laws’ home.)
  • Fee: Fee is $60 to support the Orlando Insight Meditation Group. (The teacher takes no fee. Students may make a voluntary offering to the teacher at the end of the course out of gratitude for the teaching.)
  • For more information: Email Lezlie.

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