The presentation title of this talk is “Starving the Demons, Feeding the Angels”, as part of the Anapanasati Sutta focused on “calming the mind conditioners”. Peter mentioned that during the first years of his vipassana practice he was “warding off the demons” and then began “feeding the angels”, that is, the wholesome mind conditioners. This discussion covers the first of the Wholesome Cetasikas: Confidence, Mindfulness, Moral Shame, Fear of Blame, Non-Attachment, Non-Aversion and Equanimity. These mind conditioners combine with the Universal Cetasikas: Feelings, Perceptions, Contact, Volition, Concentration, Vitality and Attention in every moment of self-organizing processes. They are often combined with the Occasional Cetasikas: Bringing attention to a focal point, Sustaining attention, Determination, Energy, Enthusiasm and Zeal.
Peter reviewed these mind conditioning factors, emphasizing that the ability to mindfully note the presence of them clearly as details of perception increases the ability to deconstruct the Wrong View of an enduring and autonomous self; the practice of vipassana incorporates these conditioners at high levels of insight, manifesting as liberation from dukkha, distress and confusion.
This was followed by discussion regarding how to use mindfulness of breathing practice to facilitate this investigation.
Here are the notes prepared for this discussion: WHOLESOME-MIND-CONDITIONERS
Next week’s discussion will explore the “Beautiful Pairs” of cetasikas, which are not universal and manifest as the result of increasingly activating the Universal Wholesome Cetasikas to a high level of functioning. Peter regards them as the results of intensive and persistent application of mindfulness meditation, most likely experienced first on a one-week or longer residential retreat.