Reviewing The Investigation of Mental Phenomena

During this talk, Peter Carlson reviews Dhamma Vicaya Bojjhanga, the Investigation of Mental Phenomena Awakening Factor.  This quality of investigative curiosity, in coordination with the Mindfulness and Energy Awakening Factors, provides a primary support for the development of the other four Awakening Factors.  Peter describes how investigation builds from the simple practice of aiming attention at the sensation of breathing and maintaining this focused attention during the cycles of breathing in an breathing out.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  INVESTIGATING MENTAL PHENOMENA

There is a supplemental “Guided Investigation of Mental Phenomena Meditation” posted in the archives, recorded just prior to this talk.


The Investigation Awakening Factor

This is the second in a series of discussions regarding the seven factors of awakening, focused on dhamma vicaya bojjhanga, the investigation of mental phenomena factor of awakening.  This factor is a core element of the practice of vipassana, operating in tandem with mindfulness, Right Effort and concentration.  Peter described the maturing of investigation from the rudimentary mindfulness of breathing practice of vitakka and vicara, that is, aiming attention at the beginning of the in-breath and sustaining that attention for the duration of the in-breath, then repeating that procedure for the out-breath.  This basic practice develops the ability to cultivate concentration and tranquility, setting the stage for the practice of vipassana.  This description was followed by a brief guided meditation focusing on investigating the breath and noting any variations of attention that might occur.  There was some discussion following this meditation to associate the investigation factor with truly understanding the Four Noble Truths.

Here are the notes accompanying this evenings dialogue: The Awakening Factor of Investigation of Mental Phenonemena  Next week’s dialogue will continue exploring the awakening factors with a focus on the awakening factor of energy, that is, Right Effort.