13 Oct
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Soundboard of the Mind

I’ve completed Week 1 of the 6-week on-line course I’m taking through Spirit Rock — A Field Guide to the Mind: Practical Abhidamma for Meditators — and so far, so good. I especially like the analogy teacher Steve Armstrong uses for the 52 Mental Factors outlined in the Abhidamma.

He says: “The 52 different mental factors are like a soundboard of the mind arising in different combinations and strengths in each moment of consciousness.”

For example, there are 7 of these factors that are said to be “involved in every moment of mental life/consciousness.” These are:

* Contact — this is the simultaneous arising of sense object, sense door and sense consciousness, e.g. visible object + eye + seeing consciousness

* Feeling — the pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral feeling of the moment

* Perception — the recognition of the uniqueness of the moment

* Volition — the intention (which may be dormant or highly activated)

* One-pointedness — the ability to select a single object at any one moment of time

* Psychic life — the life force of the mind (this is what’s present in a body but not present in a corpse)

* Attention — the ability to confront the percent moment’s object



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