This is the first of a series of talks that explore the 52 cetasikas (cheh-tah-see-kahs), categories of factors that condition the self-formation process. The talk reviews the several sub-categories of these factors: Universal, Particular, Unwholesome and Wholesome. Peter states an intention to review the cetasikas more thoroughly over the course of the next several meetings, with an emphasis on how the concepts of mind conditioners can be more clearly observed and, in the case of the Wholesome mind conditioning factors, be applied practically and skillfully, rather than becoming intellectual points of interest. In this regard, it may be helpful to consider these factors as ways to understand the operation of karma. This talk was followed by discussion between Peter and one of the participants regarding how these issues apply to life experience.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: OVERVIEW OF CETASIKAS
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During this talk, the exploration of the 52 cetasikas, categories that condition how the mind creates a self continues. The focus is the Universal Cetasikas, that is mind conditioning categories that occasionally coordinate with the Universal Cetasikas. These occasional cetasikas are vitakka, (aiming attention at a mind object), vicara, (sustained attention regarding a mind object), adhimokkha, (conviction or determination regarding a mind object’s formation), viriya (energy or persistence regarding the emerging mind object formation), piti, (enthusiasm regarding the emerging mind object formation) and chanda, (will to do, that is, the activating of the emerging mind object formation).
These mind conditioners co-operate with the Universal Cetasikas; these combinations are then aligned either with unwholesome cetasikas (producing dukkha, that is, confusion and distress) or wholesome cetasikas (producing liberation from dukkha).
Peter talked about how the simple practice of mindfulness of breathing supports liberation because mindfulness (a wholesome mind conditioner), when combined with vitakka, vicara and viriya supports deeper insights into how self-state organization is manifested, in the moment of becoming a self.
This was followed by discussion by the other meditators regarding how this understanding of self-organization processes is of benefit for dedicated meditators.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: the-occasional-cetasikas