Once the mind has settled because the Five Hindrances have been conditionally disabled, the full realization of Awakening becomes possible because of the effect of the Seven Awakening Factors: Mindfulness, Investigation of Mental Phenomena, Energy/Effort/ Persistence, Joy/Engaged Interest, Tranquility, Concentration/Unification and Equanimity/Balance. This talk focuses on a review of the first three of the factors, the coordinated and integrated development of which enables the realization of the remaining four factors. Upcoming talks will review the remaining factors.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: THE SEVEN FACTORS FOR AWAKENING Part One
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This talk reviews the Seven Awakening Factors: Mindfulness, Investigation of Mental Phenomena, Energy/Effort, Joy/Enthusiastic Interest, Tranquility, Concentration/Stability of Attention and Equipoise/Balance of Factors. Each factor is briefly reviewed, describing its characteristics and function. The intention originally was to include a review of the Progressions of Insight, a Theravadin system for identifying states of mind that are increasingly subtle, oriented toward realizing directly the characteristics of impermanence (anicca), the absence of an enduring/autonomous self (anatta), and the distress and confusion that results from the mind’s subjugation by craving and clinging (dukkha). Regrettably, due to the complexity of the reviews, there was insufficient time to adequately review the Progressions of Insight. You are invited to download and review the extensive notes regarding the Seven Awakening Factors and the Progressions of Insight prepared for this talk in order to more fully comprehend these important concepts that allow the mind to be liberated, with the potential for realizing the ultimate attainment, Nirvana.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: Cultivating The Factors For Awakening
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Dhamma Vicaya, the Investigation of Mental Phenomena, is the second of the 7 Factors of Awakening. Peter described the progressive development of vitakka (aiming attention at the sensations of breathing) and vicara (sustaining focused attention on these sensations), combined with sati (mindfulness) and viriya (energy/persistent effort) into the capacity to maintain diligent awareness of the three characteristics of reality: anicca (impermanence), dukkha (the distress and confusion that is the consequence of craving and clinging) and anatta (the absence of an enduring and autonomous self). This alert and detached investigative process is vipassana, often translated as insight. Three meditation practices for cultivating dhamma vicaya were described: mindfulness of breathing, noting and body sweep. This description was followed by discussion by the attending group regarding the various practices.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: Investigation of Mental Phenomena
There will be no posting of dharma talks for the next two weeks, as Peter will be on a self-retreat. He will report on the retreat experience on May 29.
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This talk continues a long series of discussions of the Anapanasati Sutta, the Mindfulness of Breathing Discourse. The focus here is sati bojjhangha, the rmindfulness awakening factor, considered to be a primary element of the Seven Awakening Factors, monitoring and coordinating their function towards Awakening. Peter described the various ways sati is described: the four foundations of mindfulness, right mindfulness, the power of mindfulness to overcome the hindrances and to foster the development of wholesome self-state organizing processes. This was followed by a question and answer period to clarify the functions of mindfulness.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: THE MINDFULNESS AWAKENING FACTOR
Next week’s topic is Dhamma Vicaya Bojjhanga, the Investigation of Mental Phenomena Awakening Factor.
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At this point on inquiry during these talks, the Satipatthana Sutta emphasizes the “development to fulfillment” of those qualities of mental formations that complete the process of Awakening: Mindfulness, Investigation of Mental Phenomena, Energy/Effort, Joy/Enthusiastic Interest, Tranquility, Concentration/Stability of Attention, and Equanimity/Balance of Mental Factors.
This evening’s discussion emphasizes the cultivation of Sati, Mindfulness, regarded as “the chief minister of the kingdom, who monitors governance of the kingdom and reports to the king”. In this case, the king is vipassana, the intimate exploration of how the mind creates a self, in order to deconstruct that process, revealing the absence of an enduring and autonomous self.
This was followed by discussion regarding how mindfulness benefits daily life.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: CULTIVATING THE SEVEN AWAKENING FACTORS
Next week’s talk will focus on the second of the Awakening factors, Investigation of Mental Phenomena.
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