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.
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This is the first of a series of talks about panca nivarana, the five hindrances described in the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness. In this talk, Peter described how an initial stimulus is transformed into a hindrance through craving and clinging. A “seed moment” of stimulation is dynamically organized into a selfing process that hinders the creativity and adaptive capabilities of the mind. He described how the panca indriya, the five faculties of Buddhist psychology, provide a an influence that counters the hindrances. This was followed by discussion of how these concepts are realized through the practice of mindfulness of breathing meditation.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: THE FIVE HINDRANCES
The topic for next week’s discussion is the hindrance of sensual desire.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 59:16 — 108.5MB)
During this talk, Peter described the Five Hindrances, the primary afflictions that distort our perceptions about reality. They are sense desire, aversion and ill-will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, and skeptical doubt. Peter described how, in the Satipatthana Sutta, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness discourse, there are instructions to notice the presence, absence, causes and solutions for the hindrances. He mentioned the Seven Awakening Factors as antidotes for the hindrances. He emphasized that experience is a process, and energy flow that can be free and adaptive, while the hindrances operate as “energy dumps”.
During this talk, Peter described how stimulation through the “sense bases” is transformed into the disruptive and energy draining process Buddhism calls panca nivarana, the Five Hindrances. He described the nature of sense desire as a hindrance, focusing on the activities of the amygdala (fear orientation) and nucleus accumbens (associated with addictive behavior) are examples of craving and clinging from a classical Buddhist perspective. Setting aside sense desire frees up the internal energy flows, cultivating joy, one of the awakening factors, establishing an internal source of happiness, rather than the false promise of the objects of sense desire. Next week’s discussion will explore the hindrance of aversion and ill-will.
This dialogue initiates several discussions of the practice of Right Effort on the Eightfold Path. During this talk, Peter described the classical rendering of the Four Noble Efforts, placed into the context of 21st century neuroscience. He quoted the statements of Dr. Dan Siegal, who describes the importance of integrating different neural pathways-emotional, cognitive and behavioral-in the process of transforming “energy into information”. Peter then described the characteristics of the five hindrances of classical Buddhist teachings in the context of neural “dys-integration” as a way to understand the nature of suffering. Next week’s planned dialogue focuses on revisiting the Buddhist precepts with contemporary terms such as “commitment”.