Week 4 - The Hindrances

This week Jack talked about how our states of mind can color our entire world.  Specifically, he spoke of the five hindrances:  desire, aversion , sloth and torpor, restlessness and doubt.  Being mindful of these states, rather than becoming entangled with them, helps us to see their impermanent and impersonal nature.  One memorable line was that it’s not about getting rid of these states so you can meditate, rather these are the meditation.  

Here are the questions and practices for this week.  Please feel free to comment below about your practice or pose any questions you have to the community.  

Questions

  1. What ways either in your daily life or in your practice have you tried to rid yourself of desire?  How do you typically respond? Suppression? Aversion? Self Judgement?
  2. Jack talks about looking at desire and anger and studying when they arise if they are pleasant or unpleasant. What has your experience been when these emotions arise?
  3. What form of sloth and torpor do you experience in your practice? Laziness, sleepiness, withdrawal? Where does it come from? Your hectic schedule? When in a calm state? Resistance to discomfort?
  4. What doubts do you have regarding your practice? Is it your progress (or perceived lack of), the practice itself, timing in your life?

Practices

  1. Next time you are sitting, notice the states of the mind and the heart (anger, depression, happy, bliss, sleepiness) that arise. Name them and note if they manifest themselves in the body. How long does it last after noting?
  2. Next time you feel the need for a nap, take time to note the feeling and explore what the causes might be. A hectic schedule? Resistance or discomfort to a situation? As a result of a calm state?
  3. Notice what happens in the transition from an aversion or fear state of mind to a non-aversion or freer state of mind.  What do you become aware of in terms of your state of mind and your relationship to your body?