This talk focuses on how persistent investigation of the breath frees up “mental energy” from the hindrances, thereby releasing subjective awareness of piti (joy) and sukha (happiness). After describing the classical Buddhist definitions of these qualities of awareness, Peter discussed the characteristic of piti as an enthusiastic engagement of investigative awareness regarding what is emerging into consciousness and of sukha as a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. These qualities are supportive of vipassana, the investigation of the three characteristics of Buddhism; impermanence, the absence of an enduring and autonomous self and the distress and confusion that results from craving and clinging to a false view of self.
This was followed by discussion of how the experience of joy and happiness manifests among the participants in the meeting.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: Mindfulness of Breathing and Joie de Vivre.doc
The topic for next week begins a series of discussions of how mindfulness of breathing cultivates more clear awareness of the practice of vipassana through analyzing the categories of the mind conditioners called cetasikas. The discussions elaborate on these stanzas from the Anapanasati Sutta (translation by Gil Fronsdal):
He trains himself, ‘I will breath in experiencing mental formation.’
He trains himself, ‘I will breath out experiencing mental formation.’
He trains himself, ‘I will breath in calming the mental formation.’
He trains himself, ‘I will breath out calming the mental formation.’