23 Sep
Posted in: Talks
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How to Change the Channel

Last night one of my Dharma buddies and I listened to the opening talk given by Akincano Marc Weber at the month-long retreat held this past August at the Forest Refuge. We’d already listened to a few of the talks from that retreat, and they were so good, that now we’ve decides to listen to all of them, in the order they were given.

The talk last night was a fresh take on the well-known Satipatthana Sutta (also known as the Discourse on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness), which is also the basis of Joseph Goldstein’s new book, Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening.

In this talk, Akincano looks at the four Foundations of Mindfulness as if they were four “channels” — ways in which we experience the events in our lives — and proposes a way to use them “not as meditation exercises, but as a model of human experience.”

These four Foundations/Channels can be understood as “somatic awareness” (body), “hedonic awareness” (vedana, or feeling tone), “affective awareness” (emotions, moods, and other mind states) and “cognitive awareness” (dhammas, or the mental activities of thoughts, concepts, images and ideas).

I found it to be quite a fascinating — and helpful — way of looking at these teachings. Click here to listen.

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