Reviewing The Seven Awakening Factors, Part 2

This talk reviews the Awakening Factors Joy and Tranquility.  The understanding of the review is that the first three Awakening Factors, Mindfulness, Investigation Of Mental Phenomena and Energy/Effort/Persistence, which were reviewed during the talk of October 5, 2022, support the development of the remaining Awakening Factors. The traditional understanding of these two factors is reviewed, along with some of the contemporary research on the nervous system that validates Buddhist concepts.  Their development creates the conditions in the mind that bring clarity and a quality of regulation to the actions of the sympathetic nervous system, which energizes the mind and body, expressed as the Awakening Factor of Joy.  The parasympathetic nervous system calms the mind and body, and is the Awakening Factor of Tranquility.  As the Awakening Factors mature, these two systems are dynamically integrated and balanced.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  The Seven Awakening Factors—Part 2

The focus of the next talk will be a review of the remaining Awakening Factors, Concentration/Unification and Equanimity/Balance, which function to coordinate and balance the other five Awakening Factors.


The Joy Awakening Factor June 12 2019

Piti Bojjhanga is the Pali term usually translated as the Joy Awakening Factor, the fourth of the Seven Awakening Factors.  During this talk, Peter described the traditional rendering of joy as rapture, an exquisitely potent physical/mental experience, referring to his prior practice of what Culadasa calls “pleasure jhana” in his book “The Mind Illuminated”.  Peter then suggested that the intensity of that feeling can be an obstacle to the practice of vipassana, insight into the fundamental characteristics of lived experience.  An alternate understanding, suggested by Nina Van Gorkom in her book “Cetasikas” is that of a heightened and engaged interest in what is forming in the mind that supports the functioning of other Awakening Factors such as Investigation of Mental Phenomena and Energy/Right Effort.  This was followed by discussion among those attending about the implications of this factor in the practice of anapanasati, mindfulness of breathing.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  THE JOY AWAKENING FACTOR

Next week’s focus is on the fifth Awakening Factor, Tranquility.


Awakening With Equanimity

During this talk, Peter explained upekkha bojjhanga, the equanimity awakening factor.  In the process, equanimity was described as the result of effective, dynamic interactions between the other six factors of awakening, which produces the most appropriate balance between joy and tranquility, concentration and investigation of mental phenomena, monitored by mindfulness and effected by energy as right effort.  The function of equanimity to bring balance to lovingkindness, compassion and sympathetic joy was explained.  Additionally, the dominance of equanimity in the third and fourth jhanas was described, and how this relates to the seven factors of awakening.

Here are the notes prepared for the presentation:  THE EQUANIMITY AWAKENING FACTOR

Next weeks discussion will begin to explore the culmination of the Noble Eightfold Path, a “revisiting” of Right Understanding and Right Intention.

The Joy Of Awakening

During this talk, the awakening factor of joy was described as the consequence of combining the factors of mindfulness, investigation of mental phenomena, energy/effort and concentration.  As these factors operate to set aside the “energy dumps” of the five hindrances, the resultant freed-up flow of energy is, by nature, joyfully engaged in life experience.  Piti, the Pali word for joy, is identified as one of the jhana factors and as one of the four divine abidings associated with lovingkindness.  After the explanation, Peter led a brief guided meditation, during which the participants were invited to practice noting the different sorts of energy present when mindfulness wasn’t totally engaged, compared to the improved quality of experience when mindfulness was fully engaged.

Here are the notes prepared for this evening’s exploration:  The Joy Of Awakening

Next week’s discussion will explore the awakening factor of tranquility.