2023 Deerhaven Fall Retreat–Renouncing The Five Hindrances

This talk provides information about how to identify and set aside the five hindrances to concentrated and tranquil awareness, preparatory to developing the process of Awakening through the practice of vipassana, insight into the conditioned nature of the mind.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Renouncing The Five Hindrances


Reviewing the Five Hindrances

During this talk, Lezlie Laws initially provides an overview of the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness, Mindfulness of Mental Phenomena.  She then describes how the Five Hindrances are recognized and effectively set aside.  This talk also includes a period of time for questions to be discussed.

The focus for the next talk will be the next category of the Fourth Foundation, the Five Aggregates.


Overcoming Sloth And Torpor June 27 2018

This talk is a continuation of several focused on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse, in particular, the part of the Fourth Foundation describing how to identify and overcome the Five Hindrances.  In this case, the hindrance is thina/middha, sloth and torpor.  This quality of mind is overly sedated, drowsy and lacking in sufficient energy to investigate emerging self-state organizations.  The antidote for sloth and torpor involves a more energetic application of the intention to bring focused attention to the breath sensations and maintain this focus persistently.  When this strategy is insufficient, other useful remedies found in the traditional teachings were described.  Peter emphasized that, when one participates in a retreat lasting at least a week, there comes a period of time when awareness “wakes up”, becoming more alert, manageable and sensitized to mental processes.  This insight reveals how often our everyday consciousness is impaired by “subtle dullness”, such as when daydreaming.  This was accompanied by discussion regarding how this hindrance affects various people attending the talk.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  OVERCOMING SLOTH AND TORPOR

The topic of next week’s talk will be overcoming restlessness and worry.


Understanding The Five Hindrances May 30 2018

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.


Deerhaven 2015 Third Night Dhamma Talk

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”.