Week 35 - Factors of Awakening: Tranquility

As he has done the past 4 weeks, Joseph reviews the relationships of the seven Factors of Awakening. This week, he elaborates on the fifth factor, Calm, which he says is often overlooked or under-emphasized. Calm is a soothing factor of mind and keeps the mind composed in difficult times. As with other “pleasant” states, there is the danger of attachment to the enjoyment of a calm, peaceful state of mind.

Joseph describes ways to develop Calm, including mindfulness of breathing and settling back into experience, for example, “when walking, just walk”.

The tranquility that arises becomes the conditioning factor for concentration and liberating wisdom.

Questions:

1. Considering tranquility is an active verb how can you use this in your practice?  ie..how do you do it?

2. Can you experience the location of the difficulty and calm the mental or bodily formations with the in and out breath?

3. What kind of reality do you experience after relaxing the mind?

Exercises:

1. When you see the arising of difficulty in your mind ( by being mindful) begin the calming process.

2. Try a meditation session beginning with calming the mind on the in breath and the out breath for the first five minutes…or more.

3. Allow yourself to experience the peacefulness and serenity after the calming is complete.  You may have to do the calming several times