The Fourth Foundation–Reviewing the Five Hindrances

This talk begins an extensive review of Dhammanupassana, the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness, first with an analysis of Mindfulness of Mental Phenomena, followed by a review of the Five Hindrances.  Cultivating insight into the way these factors condition the mind is a core practice that fosters the process of Awakening.  Future talks will review the other factors in the Fourth Foundation: The Five Aggregates of Clinging, the Six Sense Bases, the Seven Awakening Factors and the Four Noble Truths.  This recording is longer than usual in order to adequately review the topics involved.  The accompanying notes provide even more information regarding the hindrances.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk: Reviewing What Conditions The Mind-Five Hindrances

Next week’s focus will be a review of the Five Aggregates of Clinging, Buddhism’s form of what contemporary psychology would term a Theory of Personality.


Setting Aside Restlessness and Worry

This talk continues a review of the Five Hindrances, focusing on the way the instinctual nature of restlessness and agitation can be associated with an internal narrative that reinforces and amplifies this restlessness to the state clinically described as anxiety, which is often experienced during these trying times of pandemic and extreme global weather events.  The characteristic of restlessness can also be investigated mindfully as a component of the other four hindrances.  Various antidotes for restlessness and anxiety are described, with an emphasis on the benefits of simply dedicating attention persistently to investigating the neutral feeling tones while practicing mindfulness of breathing meditation, both formally and, during the day, informally.  There is a guided meditation posted in the archives of this site entitled “Guided Restlessness and Worry Contemplation” that is intended to supplement the information heard during this talk.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Setting Aside Restlessness and Worry

The topic for next week’s talk is a review of the fifth hindrance, Skeptical Doubt.


Guided Restlessness and Worry Contemplation

This training meditation focuses on the hindrance of Restlessness and Worry, with suggestions regarding how to discern the difference between restlessness as a feeling and worry as a narrative.  Being able to disregard the narrative and use mindfulness of breathing practices to reduce the restlessness in order to set aside the hindrance is an important goal in the practice of liberating the mind from dukkha.  it is also suggested to investigate the role restlessness as a feeling has in the experience of the other hindrances.  This guided meditation is intended to accompany the Dharma talk of the same meeting: “Setting Aside Restlessness and Worry”, which is also posted on this site.


Setting Aside Sense Desire

This talk provides an overview of the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness, followed by a review of kamacchanda, sense desire, the first of the Five Hindrances.  The review includes analysis of the traditional commentaries regarding sense desire plus additional contemporary neuroscientific research that validates the characteristics of sense desire and how to interrupt the actions of the hindrance.  There is a Guided Sense Desire Contemplation posted and archive on the site that is intended to support this talk.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Setting Aside The Five Hindrances

The topical focus for the next talk will be on Aversion & Ill-Will, the second of the Five Hindrances.


The Out Of Balance Mind

This talk was recorded at the end of the first full day of the retreat, and focuses on the Five Hindrances.  Peter presented a graphic that presented the hindrances as dynamic polarities: too much conviction as opposed to too much skepticism, and too much energy as opposed to too much tranquility.  The common antidote for these mental disturbances is stability of attention combined with active investigation, using mindfulness of breathing as a stabilizing and energizing point of reference.  This was followed by discussion of the hindrances and overcoming them.  The next night’s discussion focuses on “Cultivating A Focused And Tranquil Mind”.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  THE OUT OF BALANCE MIND