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”.
This talk begins several weeks of exploration of the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness, dhammanupassana. During the discussion, Peter pointed out that Mindfulness of the Body and of Feelings are projected onto the Third Foundation, that of consciousness, and that the culminating practice of this teaching is to notice the interactions between the foundations, Mindfulness of Mental Phenomena. He also suggested that the word “dhamma” conveys something static, a thing; however, a dhamma is transient, lasting a fraction of a second, and therefore is best considered as a dynamic process that commingles the four foundations. During the next several weeks, the dhamma called the five hindrances, the dhamma called the five aggregates, the dhamma called the six sense bases (which he terms “the six sense functions”, the dhamma of the seven awakening factors, and the dhamma called the full realization of the Four Noble Truths (which he called the Four Ennobling Truths) will be explored.