Deerhaven 2015 Eighth Night Dhamma Talk

The topic of this talk is “What Is Awakening?”  During the talk, Peter emphasized that awakening is a process that is not a place or a definable experience, but can be known as meditation practice matures.  Every time the mind turns away from unwholesome self-states and re-engages in the cultivation of wholesome self-states, awakening occurs.  He emphasized that the way to foster awakening is to use the skills manifested in the practice of the seven awakening factors to focus on process rather than content.  Focusing on content is the manifestation of craving and clinging.  Through attending to the process involved in the emergence of a momentary, contingent self-state organization, liberation is in operation.

Self State Transcendence

During this talk, Peter reviewed the Four Noble Truths, emphasizing the ultimate development of the Noble Eightfold Path, Right Knowledge and Right Release, the transformation of Right Understanding and Right Intention from concept to direct realization.  This practice moves from “self state conflict” (the five hindrances) through “self state integration” toward awakening as the seven awakening factors mature through mindfulness practices.   He emphasized that awakening is a process, not an identifiable “state” of being.  He quoted extensively from an article posted by Gil Fronsdal on the “Tenfold Path” to illustrate the process.

Here are the notes from the evening’s discussion:  SELF STATE TRANSCENDENCE

Next week’s discussion will focus on the process of awakening, reviewing various traditional descriptions of awakening, with an emphasis on what are called “the progressions of insight”.