Joseph Goldstein explores the Buddha’s fourth factor of awakening, rapture, which is an intense happiness born from the fruits of investigation, wisdom, and mindfulness.
The Spiral of Liberation
Continuous mindfulness leads to wisdom, wisdom leads to the arousing of tireless energy, and energy leads to the fourth factor of awakening, Piti, which is commonly translated as rapture. Joseph offers insight into the cycle of awakening and liberation, and how one factor spirals to the next. He examines the concept of Piti from all angles and breaks down how we experience this powerful sensation of happiness.
“This kind of happiness, this kind of Piti, is not particularly about pleasurable feeling, it’s about knowing, it’s about understanding. When this joy is strong, when this Piti is aroused, this is what sustains our interest in the practice.” – Joseph Goldstein
Hidden Dangers and Working with Hindrances (25:50)
Joseph warns of the hidden dangers that can arise when cultivating these wholesome states through practice. Whether we’re aware of it or not, it’s easy for an attachment to form to the feelings generated by Piti. Joseph goes on to talk about how when we become aware of our hindrances, we can actually cultivate Piti by investigating and working with them.
“We have to bring in an investigative wisdom into play, understanding all of these delightful states are impermanent and they don’t belong to anyone. They are all conditioned by various causes, each one simply arising and expressing its own nature. This is a very critical understanding, it points us in the right direction at a juncture in practice where it’s easy to take the wrong direction.” – Joseph Goldstein
Reflections on Piti (47:30)
Joseph closes the show with a reflection from the Buddha that is meant to arouse Piti.
“In addition to the rapture that comes from continuous mindfulness, and the investigation and close attention, the Buddha said that reflecting on the qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha bring about rapture.” – Joseph Goldstein
Explore more about rapture with Sharon Salzberg on Metta Hour Ep. 32
Image via Oliver.zs