This talk continues a review of the 52 cetasikas, those functions that condition how self-organization is formed, with emphasis on the 14 unwholesome mind conditioners. Each is reviewed and their interactions with other ethically malleable mind conditioning functions is described. The intention is to be able to understand the mind conditioners conceptually and then be able to be immediately aware of their operation through the cultivation of mindful investigation. The goal of this practice is to “deconstruct” the misconception that there is an enduring and autonomous self. To further this insight, this talk is complemented by a recording of the same evening, found in the archive of this site entitled “Contemplating The Unwholesome Mind Conditioners”
This guided meditation provides suggestions that bring attention to several of the 14 unwholesome mind conditioners. It is intended to complement the Dharma talk of the same evening entitled “Reviewing The Unwholesome Mind Conditioners”, which can be found in the archives of this site.
This training meditation cultivates clear awareness of the characteristics of desire: An initial pleasant feeling that, when not investigated wisely, quickly becomes craving and clinging–dukkha. During the recording there are intervals for cultivating mindfulness of breathing, then contemplating a state of mind that involves desire–a song melody, desired success in some project, etc., accompanied by investigation of how this experience changes the pattern of breathing, creates muscle tension and an insistent internal narrative that becomes enchanted with sustaining itself and the accompanying feeling. You are then invited to redirect attention back to the breath and investigate the changes in breathing patterns, muscle tension and the absence of a demanding narrative, along with the calmness and clarity that emerges with prolonged, alert attention to the sensation of breathing. This meditation is intended to accompany the talk entitled “The Unwholesomeness Of Desire, August 26, 2020”.
This talk summarizes the interactions of the unwholesome cetasikas, the categories whose function manifests as confusion and distress (dukkha). The five hindrances were described in terms of the cetasikas involved, including the “ethically malleable” conditioners mentioned in earlier talks. These descriptions were followed by discussion among those attending regarding how to recognize the dysfunctional manifestations of the unwholesome cetasikas while meditating or during daily life routines.
This week’s talk describes the first 8 unwholesome cetasikas. The first 4, ignorance/delusion, shamelessness/absence of conscience, recklessness/heedlessness and restlessness/mental agitation. They function cooperatively to shape every self-state organization. the second 4, desire/attachment, wrong view, conceit/self-absorption and aversion/ill-will, may or may not cooperate with the universal unwholesome cetasikas. The 8 cetasikas were discussed in depth, followed by questions and comments from others present at the meeting.