One City

“[Mindfulness] is like walking on a tightrope, [either grasp at something or push away] and you lose your balance and fall… and inevitably what we land on is another tightrope, another opportunity for mindfulness.” 

-Sharon Salzberg

Last night’s Hardcore Dharma class was fortunate to have renowned Insight meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg guest lecture (for more on Hardcore Dharma, see my post from last week). Her topic was the The Seven Factors of Enlightenment, which she tackled with relish and aplomb and various other adjectives as well!

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She began by saying the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, “are said to be both the path and fruit of enlightenment.” They are:

1. Mindfulness – The glue. One way of thinking about mindfulness is that it demands one be very connected to what’s happening in the present moment while working to be free of habitual ways of reacting.  
And the next six are grouped according to their tone or sense of agency. 
The Energetic Factors
2. Investigation, or exploring and examining the world in order to tease out the “minute particulars” (to use one of my writing teacher’s pet phrases) and examine the way in which we construct narratives.
3. Energy – Uh, just, like energy as an energetic, like, force and stuff (seriously, just raw energy).
4. Raptness (translated by Wiki as Rapture) – a state of intense interest and attention.
The Chillin’ Factors
5. Calm, or Tranquility – A sense of spaciousness, not grasping seeking, consuming, etc.
6. Concentration – Sharon Salzberg described this as a “steadiness” in one’s focus with two parts: a) A balanced relationship to an object of meditation, and b) the ability to let go of distraction and begin again. 
7. Kicking Ass – just kidding. It’s Equanimity, or as Sharon said, “the articulation of wisdom. Balance.” Equanimity is the quality that comes from seeing how things are and accepting it. 
In all it was a great dharma talk and a packed house the Interdependence Project. As one of our three lineage mentors, Sharon will be back to teach in the fall and blogging occasionally for One City, where she will spend most of her time refuting my inaccurate quotes.
Til’ next week – stay Hardcore.
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