Reviewing Right Mindfulness and Mindfulness of Breathing Meditation

This talk provides an overview of the conceptual structure of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness–Right Mindfulness, within the Noble Eightfold Path.  The overview is accompanied by a review of the practice of anapanasati, mindfulness of breathing meditation, focusing on the traditional concepts of this practice, then contemporary neuroscientific studies that validate how the meditation practice affects the brain beneficially.

Here are two sets of notes prepared for this talk which provide a more comprehensive review than the posted recording:  Overview of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse (Repaired) and Reviewing Mindfulness Of Breathing Meditation Practice.

A recorded guided meditation “Guided Satipatthana Contemplation”, dated June 28, 2023, is posted in the Guided Meditation page and is intended to complement the topics reviewed during this talk.


Guided Satipatthana Contemplation

The Satipatthana Sutta, often translated as the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse, is a key teaching in the various forms of Buddhism around the world.  This guided meditation is intended to provide a contemplative review of the four categories: mindfulness of the body, of feelings, of the mind and of mind conditioning factors.  It is intended to supplement the Dharma talk that occurred just after this recording, entitled “What Is Satipatthana?” and found in the archives.


Breath Awareness For Quieting The Mind

This talk continues an extensive review of the Satipatthana Sutta, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse.  The focus for this review is on how anapanasati, mindfulness of breathing meditation, can be developed in two ways to foster insight into the conditioned nature of the mind: Through exclusive focus on breath sensations leading to jhana (a highly developed state of awareness that is hard to achieve) followed by insight practices, and through what is called “dry vipassana”, which uses mindfulness of breathing for concentrating the mind for a more inclusive cultivation of insight.  There is an accompanying guided meditation, “Guided Anapanasati Meditation” which was recorded the same evening, June 2, 2021, and which can be found in the Archives.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Breath Awareness for Quieting the Mind

Next week’s topic will focus on Mindfulness in the Four Postures and Clear Knowledge In Regards To Activities, sections of the First Foundation of Mindfulness.



2020 Deerhaven Retreat Review

It is customary for those who have been on a significant retreat to have the opportunity to “think out loud” about what they gained from the experience.  Much of the learning and training is stored in the subconscious mind and having the opportunity to talk about it with people who understand the concepts and practices can help consolidate and integrate the insights and skills acquired.  Additionally, this can be informative for those listening and perhaps inspire them to attend a retreat sometime themselves.  The talks referred to by Peter are in the process of being uploaded to the site and will be found on the Audio Page in the 2020 folder.

Next week’s talk will continue to focus on the Satipatthana Sutta, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse, perhaps the most informative and transformative teaching in the Buddhist traditions.  The focus will be on integrating persistent breath awareness with whole body awareness, which  can provide a useful reference point from which to investigate the transient and insubstantial nature of thoughts and moods.


Working With Karma February 19 2020

This talk focuses on what is probably the most frequently used Buddhist term karma, which is often misunderstood.  During the talk Peter explained the various complexities of this term that the Buddha described as “only understood fully by an Arahant”.  Other terms were provided by Peter: karmaphala, vipaka, cetana and sankhara, all of which can be almost synonymous with karma, with subtle but practically useful differences.  The karmic process was related to contemporary neuroscientific, psychological and sociological concepts.  Peter then reviewed how cultivating mindfulness of breathing, applied to mindfulness of feelings can change the manifestation of karma in beneficial ways.  This was followed by general discussion of how understanding karma can be beneficial to those attending the talk.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Working With Karma

Next week’s talk will begin and extensive exploration of what can be considered the most useful of all the Buddhist suttas, the Satipatthana Sutta, the Discourse On The Four Foundations of Mindfulness.