Posts by Arnaud Painvin:

#364 Nurturing our good seeds Sept 19 21

Nurturing our good seeds

As the soil of our planet, our subconscious is full of good and bad seeds that I will call weeds.
When we water our seeds, they mature and manifest in our consciousness. Example:
1-By watering good seeds they will grow stronger creating positive thoughts, feelings, and attitudes.
The growth of our positive seeds is helping us to be happy, compassionate, and understanding.
2-By watering bad seeds they will grow stronger by on the opposite.
The growth of our negative ones – our weeds- brings suffering, sadness, anger, worries from
endless and unachieved desires, hatred, and illusions as opposed to the factual realities of life.
An important point here:
Because we are the only ones to water our seeds, all of these manifestations are self-created
and under our control.
Everything depends on what kind of seeds we are watering and how often.
Unfortunately, many of us have the tendency to nourish our weeds in the form of unachieved desires, hatred/ aversion towards people, events, and things of all kinds.
Some of them, even, identify themselves with their negative traits and may need therapy.
Therefore, we need to maintain positive nourishment on good seeds in order to grow happiness.

How to do that?
Using mindful awareness, we must learn to be selective in what we water.
– First, by discovering and feed our good seeds. They are always there.
This is how we touch the wonders of life that are always available to us.
– Two, by taking care of our suffering.
One way of taking care of our suffering and its causes is to invite the opposite seeds
to come up because nothing on earth exists without its opposite.
When we have the seeds of despair, we also have the seeds of hope. Up to us to invite them.
When we have the seeds of depression, we also have the seeds of vitality and happiness.
Up to us to invite them.
Observing w/o resistance to our negative feelings in a mindful way has an immediate impact on
them and their opposites. This is some sort of entanglement.
It will weaken the power of the negative seeds and strengthen the positive seeds at the base.
Everyone has the seed of compassion, so, when we practice mindfulness of compassion every day
that is watering the seed of compassion, it will become a strong powerful source of energy inside self and around us.
Also, the more we cultivate serenity within us, our sadness, despair, hatred, and illusions will naturally decrease.
We don’t have to eliminate or even fight our negative seeds.
Like weeds, they will come back whatever we do. Just accept them in a mindful way.
Then, switch to your positive seeds, pay more attention to them by watering them more often.

Thank you all. Zen Master Ji Gong

#363 We are already awakened Sep. 11 21

We are already Enlightened

Being Awakened or Enlightened has nothing to do with paradise and being in a constant state of euphoria, bliss with spiritual power.
The central teaching of Zen is that we are all intrinsically awake that is, we can experience genuine reality at it is and not as the mind-made fictional one.
This is the opposite of being a daydreamer. I said we can experience, but, unfortunately, we don’t.
Awakening is the practice of having an open mind not a programmed one full of opinion and judgment that we download mostly under the control of our ego.
Experiencing genuine reality implies practicing mindful awareness and acceptance such as:
Being aware that everything is transient.
We do not control too much of our life.
We are all interconnected, and not indispensable.
Living in the moment since it is only in the Now that we are alive, only the present moment
is real.
Things, events, and people are what they are and not what we them to be.
Thoughts and feelings are the products of our minds but they are not you.
Practicing acceptance rather than resistance about self, others, events, and life in general.
Realizing that suffering is ego-driven from desire, hatred, and illusion.
Being conscious that happiness and serenity come from inside and not from outside.
Therefore, practicing with a constant awareness of these 9 realities will open the door to serenity
and, with serenity, Awakening will pop up to the surface.
Without serenity, Awakening requires learning how to control and clean our wandering mind from
its thoughts and feelings listed above and causing suffering.

If our mind’s nature were not already free that is enlightened, that would imply we could become enlightened only after hard work to acquire it, which is not so.
Here is a metaphor to help:
Consider a room that I call “awakened mind or Our True Nature”.
By definition, this room is naturally spacious.
However, during our life, we fill up that space with all kinds of furniture that I will call desires, hatred, delusions, thoughts, and feelings. Some are necessary but how many of them?
So: although we fill up the room with our desires, aversions, and delusions, our true nature that is the intrinsic spaciousness of the room is not affected by them because always there.
We are inherently free

Therefore, in the Zen tradition, the practice of mindfulness meditation is not about producing enlightenment because, like the room, it is already there.
Then, you may wonder: “Then, what am I doing here, practic¬ing?”
Because our meditation practice is helping us controlling our mind-made fictional world and cleaning up the “furniture” in the “room.”
By practicing non-not attachment to your desire, hatred, thoughts, and delusions, the room is clearing itself, so to speak. The room is not cluttered anymore but spacious like an “Awakened mind”
We are the materialization of something I.e. Universal Consciousness?, God,…..
Such materialization is designed to allow us to experience genuine Reality and Awakening created by such “Something”.

Thank you

#362 Making friends with ourselves Sept:5 21

Making friends with ourselves

Cultural brainwashing

Making friends with ourselves can be a challenging undertaking because we have been taught very quickly in life that we are lacking on this and that, and we should ain to be the best on whatever.
There are things I’ve said to myself that I would never, ever say to a friend.
I’ve pushed myself too hard by telling myself that my best wasn’t good enough and that my bad stuff is too much.
Basically, we have moments of treating ourselves like someone we didn’t even like, let alone love.
Making friendship with ourselves is alien because our culture telling us to be hard on ourselves in order to achieve more and more.
Self-aggression squeezes the mind, and aggressive, negative thoughts undermine our self-image.
The perception and prevalence of a negative self-image vs. a positive one are obvious in our culture, education, and consumerism. Self-dislike of our body and intellect is a big business.
However, The stuff we buy and consultations with will never fix the negative perception of self.

If we accept that our bodies are OK, that we have flaws and weaknesses, that we are getting older every day, or that we can be down emotionally, then, we don’t need to build a better self-image through products, services, and psychiatrists. If you feel good, buying stuff is unnecessary.

Obviously, seeking professional help can / may be indicated when the self-image becomes destructive.

Why mindfulness meditation can be useful?

“Mindfulness meditation can help us in making friends with ourselves”. It’s a statement that struck me
when I first heard it, but the more I am practicing, the more profound it is relevant.

Meditation can be a part of the healing process of our self-image.
The key is not making meditation yet another way to beat up on ourselves for not being good enough.
Mindfulness meditation is learning to bring mind and body together since our wandering mind
is forced to focus on our body that is our breathing.
Being one, both become friends at least for the duration of meditation.
It is during meditation that, subconsciously, we accept what our body and mind are and do.
This acceptance is allowing becoming friends with us.
With practice, it is possible to focus, in a mindful way, on one of our negativity that is without analytic, judgmental, and decisional cognitive process.

Learn to observe one of your negative traits such as weakness. For example: “ I am observing weakness”
By doing so, you are not weak anymore, you have a perceived weakness and you observe it.
Big difference because observing it creates a mental separation between you and weakness.
You are not anymore an emotional victim of x but the pragmatic observer of it.
This is a critical step to learn so we can accept this anger then to let it go.
This mindfulness process can be applied to any negative traits and flaws and weaknesses
that all of us have or perceive to have.

This practice is part of self-compassion so important is Zen philosophy.
Again, it does not mean to be self-centered or being narcissistic. It means simply to befriend with
ourselves.
The journey is not easy but it is worthwhile to try. Thanks

#361 Complaining: our favorite ego’s food. 28/08/21

Complaining: our ego’s favorite food

Complaining is one of our ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself.
We are complaining almost all the time about anything. It can be verbal, from thoughts but it is mostly subconscious as demonstrated using hypnosis.

Facts:
We are complaining about everything, even if there is nothing we can do about it.
Complaining aloud or only in thoughts make no difference.
The list of complaints is endless dealing from the past, present and future and triggered
by people, events and even self.
How often do you catch yourself complaining about whomever, whatever, whenever
or even your life and life in general?

Why complaining is part of our identity?:
On rare occasions in life, complaining is totally justified i.e.
When you have a recurrent water leak the day following the repair done by the plumber.
But these occasions are in fact rare.

Every complaint is a little story our ego-mind is creating and, strangely enough, we completely believe in it. It is an integral part of our ongoing day dreaming state and most of them are meaningless, sort of small talk to others and to self.

Many egos that don’t have too much else to offer for self-identification can survive very easily
by feeding themselves in complaining alone about every things and all the time.
So, complaining is a very common way of self-identification. “I am complaining therefore I am”

Complaining is like an iceberg: when we are in the grip of such ego trick, especially about complaining about other people, it is usually subtle if not subconscious which means that you don’t realize it. This is the iceberg below water.
The tip of the iceberg is when our complaint becomes conscious thru thoughts and verbal process.
Complaining is an on-going negative feeling that should be incorporated in the same basket
that other negative feelings such as anger, regret, worry, guilt, anxiety, and so on.
To complain is always non-acceptance of what things, events and people are.
Similar to other negative feelings, complaining always produces negative energy and
makes you a victim. Remember that negative feelings means negative energy and negative
energy is sucking a lot of our mental and emotional energy which should be used for more
positive activities.

So, what to do?
If the complaint remains subconscious, there is obviously nothing we can do about it despite burning energy as I said.
Otherwise learn to catch yourself complaining about x. y, z that is practicing mindfulness awareness of your complain verbal or by thought. Then:
Fix the cause it if you can which is, as I said, very rare.
If not: accept it…….and let it go in a mindful way.
All else is pure stupidity or even madness. Thank you.

#360 Genuine compassion Aug. 22th 21

Only genuine compassion is enough.
Adapted from the writings of the Dalai Lama

“It’s not sufficient, says the Dalai Lama, to simply think that compassion is important. We must transform our thoughts and behavior on a daily basis to cultivate compassion without attachment” What he just said is not an oxymoron and I will try to explain it.
Before we can generate compassion and love, it is important to have a clear understanding of what we understand compassion and love to be.
Compassion and love can be defined as positive thoughts and feelings that give rise to such essential things in life as forgiveness, hope, and courage.
In the Buddhist tradition, compassion and love are the 2 sides of the same coin meaning: “Compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering and love is wanting them to have serenity if not at least happiness.”
It is not enough to believe that compassion is important and nice to practice.
Self-centered behavior inhibits our compassion and love to others, and we are all afflicted by it to one degree or another.
For true serenity to emerge, we need to cultivate a calm mind, and such peace of mind will arise
only from the practice of a compassionate attitude not only towards others’ living beings but also to ourselves.
How can we develop this attitude? Obviously, it is not enough for us simply to believe that compassion is important and nice.
We need to make a concerted effort to develop it; we must use all the events of our daily life to transform our thoughts and behavior in order to practice compassion.
Unfortunately, many forms of compassionate feeling are mixed with desire and attachment.
For instance, the love that parents feel for their child is often strongly associated with their own emotional needs, so it is not fully compassionate.
Usually, when we are concerned about a close friend, we call this compassion, but there is always some sort of attachment behind it.
“Even in marriage, the love between husband and wife—particularly at the beginning, when each partner still may not know the other’s deeper character very well—depends more on attachment than genuine love,” says the Dalai Lama.
Our desire can be so strong that the person to whom we are attached appears flawless, when in fact he or she has many faults. In addition, attachment makes us exaggerate small, positive qualities. When this happens, it indicates that our love is motivated more by personal needs than by genuine care for another.
Many marriages last only for a short time because they are lacking compassion; they are produced by emotional attachment based on projection and expectation, and as soon as the projections change, the attachment disappears, so does the relationship.
Compassion without attachment is possible. Therefore, we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment.
True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Because of this firm foundation, a truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively. Genuine compassion to others is based not on our own needs and expectations, but rather on the needs of the other: irrespective of whether another person is a close friend or an enemy, as long as that person wishes to overcome suffering to achieve peace and happiness, then, on that basis, we should develop genuine concern for their problem. This is genuine compassion. For a Buddhist practitioner, the goal is to develop this genuine compassion for the well-being of self and others, in fact for every living being that we like or dislike through the universe.
Text adapted from the Dalai Lama book “The compassionate life” Thank you.

#359 Actual vs Virtual realities…

Actual reality, virtual reality, and spacetimes. A Zen perspective.

It is 8 pm. Imagine yourself sitting in a movie theater and watching an exciting movie.
In this setting there are 2 space-times:
– Your space-time is your immediate surrounding (Space) at 8pm (Time) also called the present
moment.
– What is going on on the screen, represents many “movie space-times.”
Your space-time defines actual and concrete reality.
The movie-space time defines virtual reality because people, actions, surroundings, and various time
periods are just 2D projections on the screen.
So, here is a fundamental question:
What are the differences between actual and virtual realities?
This question is not academic. It has significant implications as far as Zen practice is concerned.
1) Actual reality:
Is what we are experiencing concretely and mindfully i.e. 1- what our body is doing,
2- what our 5 senses are perceiving, 3- our surroundings with their contents, events, and actions.
All of these are in the single present moment.
Here, obviously, space-time is a single entity since one cannot be at 2 different places and times at the same time.
2) Virtual reality:
This is our mind-made reality. It is virtual since it does have any of the components of the actual
reality. Thoughts, feelings do exist but are virtual by definition. When our mind is wandering,
many successive space-times, contents, and events occur in which you may or not be present.
So, our mind is producing a self-made on-going inner movie somewhat equivalent to the movie
on the screen of the movie theater.
The analogy with you, in the movie theater, and you, outside it, stop right there because there is a fundamental difference.
In the theater, we are actively observing the virtual reality on the screen made of events, people, actions in many different space-times.
If your favorite movie is online, you can even stop it, go backward or forward.

But, during the day, are we actively observing our mind-made movie as much as in the theater?
Apart from its cognitive activities requiring attention, our mind is wandering no-stop, producing
zillion of thoughts, feelings in many different space-times: over 90,000/ day from neuroimaging.
Rather than being the active observers of the movie like in a theater, we are the opposite, sort of
victimized recipient of our permanent inner mind-made virtual world even w/o being fully aware of it.
Our inner little voice is pure self-talking.
Our wandering mind is never where our body is and what it is doing. Its powerful grasp is such that we identify ourselves with our thoughts and feelings non-stop
to the point where we behave during the day in auto-pilot under the control of our mind.

What Zen teaching is telling us?
Zen is telling us that we are “day sleepwalkers”. We are constantly in a dreaming state.
We identify ourselves with our ego-driven movie.
Being in this fictional world is a great source of suffering from desires, hatred, and delusions.
Like in the movie theater, Zen is telling us to be the observer of our fictional world and its content, to be the awareness of our thoughts and emotions. By doing so, you are not the thinker but the one who watches the thinker. This watcher is your True self.
We become the controller of your mind rather than being under its control.
Serenity cannot be achieved if you cannot dissociate yourself from your mind-made ego-driven fictional world maybe not permanently but as much as possible. Thank you

#358 Breathing: a miracle moment 8/8/21

Breathing: A Miracle Moment

First, we sit comfortably on a cushion or a chair. Then we keep your back erect without straining or overarching and keep your chin horizontal. Close your eyes. If not, gaze gently a few feet in front of you w/o staring. Aim for a state of alert relaxation. Take three or four slow deep breaths, feeling the air entering your nostrils.
Then let your breathing settles into its natural rhythm, without forcing or controlling it.
All you have to do is just to feel breathing, as it happens, nothing more.
Notice where you feel your breath. Perhaps it’s predominant at the nostrils, perhaps at the chest or abdomen. Don’t modify it.
Become aware of your breathing sensations. If you’re focusing on the breath at the nostrils, for example, you may experience tingling, vibration, or cold and warmth. You may observe that the breath is cooler when it comes in through the nostrils and warmer when it goes out.
If you’re focusing on the breath at the abdomen, you may feel the in and out movements.
Don’t analyze them, simply feel them in a mindful way.
Let your attention resting on the feeling of your natural breathing, especially by focusing on your exhale. (Notice how often the word “resting” comes up in this instruction? Breathing should be a restful practice. You don’t need to change it or “to do it right”.
You may find that the rhythm of your breathing changes. Just allow the change whatever it is.
Sometimes people get a little self-conscious about watching themselves breathing and they start hyperventilating a little, or the opposite, holding their breath without fully realizing what they’re doing. If that happens, just go back to your natural breathing.

Many distractions will arise:
Thoughts, images, emotions, aches, pains, wandering in the past or future.
Just be aware of them, then let them go by going back to your mind anchor that is your breathing.
You don’t need to avoid your thoughts or analyze them.
Accept them as they are and refocus on your exhale breathing, over and over and over.
Meditation is moving the mind back and forth from breathing to thoughts.
By doing so, you are taming your mind progressively. It is a sort of mental workout.
Again:
You don’t have to get mad at yourself for having thoughts, they will happen many times during meditation. Just acknowledge their presence and let them go one by one. When you notice that your mind is wandering, just take him back to your exhale.
The magic moment:
The moment you realize you’ve been distracted by thought and you are going back to your exhale breathing is a magic moment.
It’s a chance to become different by simply learning to letting go the intruder rather than being his victim as we are too often and, at the same time, being in the present moment.
By doing so, you are controlling your mind, forcing him to re-focus on his anchor that is your breathing. At this point, the thought evaporates because the mind cannot have
two thoughts at the same time!
You may have to let go of wandering thoughts thousands of times during meditation and it is just fine. There are not thousands of roadblocks to your practice, just the opportunity in controlling your mind thousands of times. That’s life: starting over, one breath at a time w/o being discouraged since the overall beneficial effect of meditation is cumulative with its practice.
Finally: counting your exhale from 1 to 10 then 10 to 1 is an excellent adjuvant when concentration is lacking. Thank you all

#357 How to apply mindfulness in dealing with our suffering.

How to apply mindfulness in dealing with our suffering
Edited from a Dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh

Dealing with our suffering using the usual “fight”:
We try our best to get rid of it our suffering. Psychologists like the expression, “getting it out of your system.” which is venting the cause of suffering. Some psychologists say that when the energy of anger arises in you, you should ventilate it by hitting a pillow, kicking something, or by going into the forest to yell and shout.
People who use venting techniques like hitting a pillow or even shouting are actually rehearsing suffering because they are using some sort of fightback approach thru resistance non-acceptance and even attempt to suppress.
Zen calls this, dealing with aggression. This is a dangerous habit because not only the cause of suffering usually will persist but any attempt to suppress it is, by itself, a source of
1) Suffering and 2) Negative energy from consumption of it while fighting suffering and causes.
Dealing with our suffering using mindfulness-based acceptance:
Mindfulness-based insight is paying attention / observing our suffering w/o an analytic purpose. It has the power of liberating us from the self-inflicted trap.
Mindfulness does not fight suffering and its causes, it observes and accepts it.
It is used to recognize/being aware of it in the present moment and then to accept it as it is.
The approach is opposite to the previous one since there is no tentative of resistance or suppression.
Therefore the practice of mindfulness creates, by itself positive energy since no energy is used to fight but instead abound of unity becomes a source of positive energy
When it is cold in your room, you turn on the heater, and the heater begins to send out waves of hot air. The cold air doesn’t have to leave the room for the room to become warm. The cold air is embraced by the hot air and becomes warm—there’s no fighting at all between them.
Mindfulness works like this hot air.
In Zen, the practice of mindfulness meditation should be the practice of embracing and transforming what we dislike, what we resist to, what we refuse and not of fighting.
How to make good use of suffering:
To grow the tree of Awakening, we must, first, make good use of our suffering.
It does not mean to become masochistic since a masochistic one is searching pleasure from pain or the more pain the more pleasure, which has nothing to do with Zen practice.
Using suffering is like growing lotus flowers says Thich Nat Hanh.
We cannot grow a lotus (serenity) without mud (suffering)
Practitioners of mindfulness meditation do not reject their suffering and do not transform themselves into a battlefield, good fighting evil.
We should treat our afflictions with the acceptance and compassion of an observer rather than a victim.
Mindfulness recognizes, embraces then relieves us from suffering at least partially.
It helps us to look deeper beyond our ego-driven emotional reflex of fighting suffering.
Becoming a non-emotional observer of our suffering, you become the subject rather than the object of it. This is the Buddhist practice of taking care of suffering and its causes. Every time you give your internal pain a bath of warm positive energy of mindfulness, the knot of pain in you starts to loosing up. If you know how to generate this positive energy of mindfulness, it will act as a healing tool while facing suffering every time it pops up.
Mindfulness does the work of entangling our knots of suffering. You have to allow suffering and its causes to circulate freely and not be afraid of nor fighting again. If you learn not to fear your knots of suffering, you can learn how to accept them with the energy of mindfulness.
At this point, the emotional pain will evaporate. Thank you.

#356 The practice of Awareness July 25th

The practice of awareness

One of the first Zen practices I learned from my teachers was the practice of awareness.
I am not talking about cognitive-based awareness such as “Yes I am aware of this or that meaning I know “. In this example, awareness is just an automatic recall process from our data-based knowledge. One may call it passive awareness.
In Zen, practicing awareness is bringing our consciousness to focus on something x or y in the current moment and in a mindful way w/o analytic and decisional goal.
No recall, just observation, likes a mirror reflecting things, objects, events and people as they are and not as we perceive them. Awareness is consciousness in action.
These objects or targets of our active awareness can be anything such as our body, its motions, our 5 senses, our thoughts, feelings or on what our immediate surrounding is made of.
Active awareness is the only tool allowing us to observe and experience our mental and emotional activities. Without this tool, we are the victims of our emotions instead of being the observer.
Everything is constantly changing during the day but we do not practice awareness as just described because we are too busy doing things non-stop automatically like an hamster in its wheel.
And yet, awareness is always present and always available but we don’t know to be aware of our awareness and to use it.
Who is listening these words right know? Who is reading these same words right now?
It is our awareness, genuine and complete. This awareness is defining who we are right now, in this very moment.
It’s always here and it can accommodate anything. We can talk, we can move, you can even listening as you are right now. All of this is happening by and within awareness.
Put in different words:
We don’t know what is consciousness, how to be conscious of our consciousness, and how to apply it.
Yet, it is critical to practice active awareness or being conscious because consciousness reveals our True self that is the one free from our mind-made self.
To be conscious is to be, it is who you are, who I am. Nothing more. Trying to describe it further or to explain it or to improve it is impossible.
Consciousness is the same for all living beings and, according to many, it will survive the death of our body or material self.
Since awareness is always there, the only thing we need to do is recognize and apply it.
But the biggest challenge with awareness is that it is so close, we don’t see it in the same way we cannot see our own eyes.

How to recognize and practice awareness:?
Meditation and more specifically mindfulness meditation plays a crucial role
as a tool to practice active awareness and put our consciousness in action.
In fact, mindfulness meditation is practicing pure awareness such as focusing on breathing, being aware of our body, ongoing thoughts/feelings and so on.
Learning to be mindfully aware of our thoughts and feelings is the only way to observe then to accept them as they are w/o resistance. Otherwise, we remain their victims.
Awareness or active consciousness is not some sort of ill-defined entity.
It defines the word “Living Being” in its purest form and can be applied anytime during the day.
It is also the only tool that we have to recognize then deal with the sources of our suffering.
Thank you.

#355 The 4 foundations of mindfulness as taught by the Buddha. Jul. 18-21

The four foundations of Mindfulness as taught by the Buddha
To be mindful is to pay attention / contemplate something w/o further judgmental, analytic, and decisional processes. It can be on a material object, thought, emotion, behavior.
The 4 foundations of mindfulness are the fundamental teachings of the Buddha on meditation as the way to experience Awakening. They are common to all traditions including Zen and represent a systematic guide – sort of 101 – to practice mindfulness toward serenity and Awakening. As we shall see, they are all interconnected.

Mindfulness of the body:
Experiencing full awareness of being in our body, including the sensations of breathing, pain, posture, movement outside and within our body. It includes its weightiness, aging process, diseases, impermanence, and so on.

Mindfulness of feeling:
Feelings, according to the Buddha, do not mean emotions but sensations coming from the 6 senses. He listed 6 senses are: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin(body), and mind.
He classified them as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral/indifferent.
Pleasant sensation may bring craving, unpleasant may bring hate, and neutral/indifferent may lead to delusion or ignorance.

Mindfulness of mind:
Experiencing full and non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts and emotions as they arise, dwell, and pass away. This allows us to see the transient and insubstantial quality of the
thinking and emotional processes that guide our positively and negatively our actions.

Mindfulness of – as he called- “Mental objects”:
The fourth foundation is tricky to describe properly and simply.
The Buddha defines mental objects in 4 groups to meditate mindfully on their components:

1 The 4 Noble Truths:
1 Life is suffering, 2 causes of suffering, 3 extinction of suffering (Nirvana) and
4 The 8 paths/tools to achieve reduction and cessation of suffering.

2 The 5 hindrances that slow down our progress toward serenity:
Desires, improper will, laziness, doubt, and restlessness of body and mind.

3 The 5 aggregates:
– Form (our body)
-Feeling better translated as sensations/perceptions that the Buddha
describes as pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral/indifferent.
– Sensorial perception from our peripheral 5 senses.
– Mental activities (thoughts, emotions, etc.)
– Consciousness.

4 The 7 factors or practice aiming to Enlightenment:
Mindfulness, Concentration, Determination, Quest toward the nature and understanding
of reality, Effort (energy), Joy (rapture), Equanimity (accepting reality as it is).
The point of the Buddha is not to practice full awareness to all “Mental Objects” at the same time because it is impossible, but to pay attention to them one by one and put them into our daily practice. This 4th level of mindfulness meditation practice opens the door to Awakening.
As we can see, the 4 foundations are all entangled and one cannot exist on its own.