Reviewing The Six Sense Bases

A subtitle for this talk might be “How What Is Seen Becomes The Self”.  During the talk, Peter describes the functions of the mind that create a self out of what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted, touched and remembered through what are called “fetters”–the effect of craving and clinging that binds awareness into “myself”.  The cultivation of mindfulness, investigation of mental phenomena and Right Effort develops the ability to become clearly aware of this binding effect and gradually diminish the power of craving and clinging.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Understanding the Fetters


Lezlie Laws’ Five Hindrances Review

Reviewing and setting aside the five aggregates is described as the first of the contemplations found within the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness.  Lezlie provides quotes and comments that explain the characteristics of these obstacles to a mind that is alert and serene enough to support insights that liberate the mind from craving and clinging.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk, including references to useful books:  Hindrances dharma talk


Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness Overview

Considering the Third Foundation of Mindfulness as if it were a sheet of paper, and the First as a pen, then the Second as ink; the Fourth Foundation, mindfulness of mental phenomena, is what is written on the paper, creating our experience of being an enduring/autonomous self.  During this talk, Peter reviews the categories of the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness and the role they play in the development in the process of Awakening, dissolving one’s belief in an enduring/autonomous self.  During subsequent talks, each of the categories within the Fourth Foundation will be reviewed individually as to their functions and how to work with them skillfully.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Creating A Self

The focus of next week’s talk will be a review of the Five Hindrances and how to effectively set them aside to further the process of Awakening.


Reviewing Mindfulness of the Mind

The Third Foundation of Mindfulness focuses attention on investigating the characteristics of a person’s consciousness–alert or dull, filled with desire or free from desire, among other categories.  During this talk, Peter reviews the various categories, supplemented by current neurological research that supports the views developed by Buddhist practitioners and scholars over a thousand years ago.  How mindfulness of breathing practice supports investigation of the mind is also reviewed.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Reviewing Mindfulness Of The Mind

The next talk will begin a review of the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness, focusing on identifying and setting aside the Five Hindrances.


Skillfully Managing Feelings

Mindfulness of Feelings is the Second Foundation of Mindfulness, and during this talk, Peter provides a review of the various categories of feelings, which are not emotions, but rather the impulsive reactivity we all experience that precedes craving and clinging. Managing feelings skillfully is key for developing  the process of Awakening.  Some of the current neuroscientific research findings that are found in different areas of the brain that identify how feelings arise, associated with thoughts and then regulated are reviewed that seem to validate aspects of human experience as described in Buddhist teachings.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk, which provide a more extensive review than from Peter’s verbal comments:  Skillfully Managing Feelings

There is a recording posted in the Audio section of the website under Guided Meditations entitled “Guided Contemplating Feelings Meditation” that is intended to support this talk and to build ways to skillfully manage feelings.