Joseph Goldstein breaks down four specific aspects of mindfulness, which is the first of the Buddha’s factors of awakening.
The Seven Factors of Awakening
Joseph talks about the Buddha’s seven factors for awakening, and how these factors actually form a progression, with each leading and conditioning the arising of the next. We have to prime the pump with the first factor, which is mindfulness.
“So what are these seven factors? There’s mindfulness; there’s investigation of Dhammas, which is the wisdom factor; there’s energy, or effort; there’s rapture; there’s calm; there’s concentration; and equanimity. Just for a moment reflect on what the mind would be like that had brought these seven qualities to perfection.” – Joseph Goldstein
Explore Awakening with Mindful Awareness with Lama Surya Das on Awakening Now Ep. 72
The Four Aspects of Mindfulness (12:19)
Joseph explores the root meaning of mindfulness, which is about attentiveness to the present moment. He talks about the first two aspects of mindfulness, which are stability of awareness and presence of mind.
“So as we look at these four specific aspects of mindfulness, we can begin to understand that mindfulness is the one factor that the Buddha said is always useful. There can never be too much mindfulness.” – Joseph Goldstein
Fear and Shame (24:08)
Joseph talks about the third aspect of mindfulness, calling to mind what is skillful and what is not, and how it’s related to moral shame and moral fear.
“We can hold [fear and shame] in wisdom, and in this beautiful manifestation in understanding the beauty of them, they arise out of mindfulness and a very deep caring and respect for ourselves and others. In that sense they become beautiful qualities of mind.” – Joseph Goldstein
Bare Attention and Clear Comprehension (39:50)
Joseph discusses the fourth aspect of mindfulness, close association with wisdom and seeing things as they are, and how it’s related to the qualities of bare attention and clear comprehension.
“What is it that’s actually happening? We can bring this simplicity to our meditation practice, and it then gets very simple.” – Joseph Goldstein