Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 65 – The Satipatthāna Sutta: Mindfulness of Dhamma – Hindrances

Joseph Goldstein continues his series of teachings inspired by the Satipatthāna Sutta with an exploration of the fourth foundation of mindfulness, the contemplation of Dhamma and the five hindrances.

Listen to the last episode in this series here: Ep. 64 – Mindfulness of Feelings

Show Notes

Mindfulness of the Hindrances (Opening) – How does one abide in the Dhammas, contemplating the Dhammas? Joseph talks about the importance of learning to work with the five hindrances.

“In this fourth foundation we’re really looking at the categories of phenomena. So what’s included in the text of this fourth foundation is mindfulness of the hindrances, mindfulness of the aggregates, of the sense spheres, of the elements, of the factors of awakening, of the Four Noble Truths. All of these are the basic organizing principles the Buddha used in his 45 years of teaching.” – Joseph Goldstein

Recognizing Desire (15:03) – In the Satipatthāna Sutta, the Buddha outlined five basic steps for working with the hindrances. Joseph explores the first two steps, which are recognizing when desire has arisen in the mind and recognizing when desire is absent in the mind.

“When we don’t recognize when these desires are present, we’re simply lost in their distracting, distorting energy. Yet when we are aware when sensual desire is present, one knows sensual desire is present in me. As soon as we become aware, we are transmuting that desire into an element of our path to awakening. This is the first step, recognizing when it’s present.” – Joseph Goldstein

Understanding Conditionality (24:07) – Joseph talks about the next two steps the Buddha outlined, which are about knowing how desire arises and knowing how desire can be removed.

“There are several ways of understanding what leads to the arising of sensual desire. Most obviously, it arises when we’re not being mindful of the arising sense object, or the pleasant feeling associated with it. When we’re not mindful, the habitual conditioning of desire and craving easily gets activated.” – Joseph Goldstein

Avoiding Desire (48:40) – The last step the Buddha outlined is about knowing how a future arising of desire can be avoided. Joseph speaks to what a big challenge this can be in Western culture.

“From practicing in this way, one abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is the taste of freedom that comes from our practice, from this contemplation of the Dhamma.” – Joseph Goldstein