2018 Deerhaven Fourth Night Talk: The Selfing Process

During this talk, Peter described the self as a process, selfing, a verb rather than a noun.  During the talk, the Mind System Model developed by Culadasa in his book “The Mind Illuminated”, was drawn on to help understand how different functions in the brain operate autonomously as “sub-minds” in processing ongoing experience, producing the ongoing process of self-organization and self-dissolution that is blended into the stream of consciousness, experienced as “myself”.  The process of Awakening involves the practice of vipassana to investigate this selfing dynamic and “deconstruct” the misperception of an enduring and autonomous self.  This was followed by questions and discussion of the day’s meditation practice and the evening talk.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  THE SELFING PROCESS


Understanding How The Mind Works

This talk continues to explore practical suggestions from the book “The Mind Illuminated”.  The current focus is on the concepts of “Focused Attention”, “Peripheral Awareness”, “Strong Distraction”, “Strong Dullness”, “Subtle Distraction” and “Subtle Dullness”.  Following on the post of January 18, Peter emphasized the importance to cultivate these wholesome mental qualities: “Ardent, alert and mindful”, which are mentioned repeatedly in the Satipatthana Sutta, among others in the Pali Canon.  These three wholesome qualities enhance Focused Attention to overcome the self-state organizations of distraction and dullness, thereby setting the conditions for the practice of vipassana, insight into the conditioned nature of experience.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Observing How The Mind Works

This talk was preceded by a recorded guided meditation that fostered experiential understanding of “Focused Attention” and the other above mentioned concepts, and is also posted here.  During the meditation, the cultivation of “ardent, alert and mindful” focused attention was emphasized.