Seven Awakening Factors, December 9, 2020

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


Seven Awakening Factors Overview June 3, 2020

This talk is the first of several reviews of Sattasambojjangha, (sah-tah-sahm-bow-jahn-gah), the Seven Awakening Factors.  The factors are mindfulness, investigation of mental phenomena, energy/effort, joy, tranquility, concentration and equanimity.  Each of these factors will be reviewed individually over the course of several weeks.  During the talk, Peter emphasized the integrative characteristics of the factors, as the cultivation of each supports the unification and capabilities of all the factors in supporting, first, the setting aside of the Five Hindrances and second, realizing the direct experience of impermanence, dukkha and non-self aspects of subjective reality.  After the review, there was discussion among the participants to clarify and expand on the concepts.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  SATTASAMBOJJHANGA

Next week will be a review of mindfulness as an Awakening factor.


Awakening With Tranquility August 29 2018

During this talk, the Tranquility Awakening Factor was described as the result of the application of Mindfulness, Investigation of Mental Phenomena, Concentration and Energy/Right Effort Awakening Factors.  The Pali term for this Factor is Passadhi Bojjhanga, and it so closely aligns with the Concentration Awakening Factor, Samadhi Bojjhanga, that Peter frequently refers to samadhi/passadhi as the foundation for vipassana practice.  Tranquility is not sedation, but rather the absence of turbulence in the internal flow of consciousness.  After the explanation, those attending discussed how to cultivate tranquility in daily life and the benefits of a serene lifestyle.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Awakening With Tranquility

Next week’s topic is the Concentration Awakening Factor.


Cultivating Joyful Interest In Awakening August 22 2018

This talked emphasized Piti Bojjhanga, typically translated as the Rapture Awakening Factor.  After describing the role that piti traditionally plays in the cultivation of jhana, (an exalted state of exclusive awareness), Peter suggested a more workable translation might be enthusiastic interest, a quality of attention that is actively engaged with investigating the emerging characteristics of subjective experience.  Piti is the result of the application of the Awakening Factors of Mindfulness, Investigation and Energy (manifested as Right Effort, part of the Noble Eightfold Path), and serves as a quality of awareness that inspires further practice.  The description was followed by general discussion of how joyful interest during meditation practice generalizes to joyful interest in life’s everyday characteristics.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  CULTIVATING JOYFUL INTEREST IN AWAKENING

Next week’s topic will be the Awakening Factor of Passadhi Bojjhanga, the Tranquility Awakening Factor.


Investigating Mental Phenomena August 8 2018

Continuing the exploration of the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness, tonight’s topic is the Awakening Factor Dhamma Vicaya, Investigating Mental Phenomena.  During the talk, Peter suggested the development of this Awakening Factor begins with the practice of vitakka/vicara, aiming attention at the breath sensations/sustaining attention for the duration of the breath sensations.  As the topic was developed, the cooperation of the other Awakening Factors was described in developing mature awareness of how the process of “selfing” occurs and to realize anicca (impermanence), anatta, (non-self) and the distress and confusion that constitutes dukkha.  This was followed by general group discussion of the benefits that result from cultivating Dhamma Vicaya.

Here are the notes prepared for this discussion:  INVESTIGATING MENTAL PHENOMENA

Next week’s topic will be the Awakening Factor Viriya, translated as Energy/Effort and Determination.