This talk is part of an extensive investigation of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse, and provides a review of how undeveloped characteristics of the Seven Awakening Factors within the Fourth Foundation can be identified while meditating, accompanied by a more thorough description of the mature manifestations of the individual factors. Emphasis is placed on the role of the first four of the factors–Mindfulness, Investigation of Mental Phenomena, Energy/Right Effort and Joy/Enthusiastic Interest–in the manifestation and increasing power of the remaining three factors, Tranquility, Concentration and Equanimity. Ultimately, all seven factors are integrated, with high levels of functioning in the practice of vipassana, insight into the impermanent manifestation of self-states that are interdependent with one’s environment.
This talk is intended to be complemented by “Contemplating the Seven Awakening Factors”, found in the Audio archives of this website.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: THE SEVEN AWAKENING FACTORS
The focus of the next talk will be on the final stanzas of the Satipatthana Sutta, the realization of the Four Noble Truths.
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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.
This meeting involved a review by some of the participants in the nine day retreat from March 13 to the 22nd. First Peter reviewed the structure of the course, which blended practices found in the Anapanasati Sutta (mindfulness of breathing discourse) and the vedanupassana (body sweep) practice that Peter was trained in by his first teacher Ruth Denison and several retreats during which he was trained in the tradition taught by S. N. Goenka. The benefit of the body sweep was explained as a way to cultivate the seven awakening factors, especially mindfulness, investigation of mental phenomena, effort/persistence and concentration. the remaining three factors, joy, tranquility and equanimity, emerge more effectively as practice deepens.
Following this post, the dhamma talks recorded during the retreat will be posted as .mp3 files, along with some of the notes Peter referred to.
This is the first of several dialogues exploring the bojjhangas, the seven factors of awakening. During this talk, Peter describes the relationship between the awakening factors and the five powers. He also described the evolution of the factors through the process of setting aside the hindrances preparatory to the practice of vipassana. The awakening factors that comprise vipassana were described. Next week’s dialogue will explore the individual factors in detail, with guided meditations to facilitate recognizing their function.
Here are the notes prepared for this presentation and for the next few meetings: BOJJHANGA-7 AWAKENING FACTORS