Articles elaborating the teachings

The Seven Factors of Awakening - Part 2

In this talk, Ayya Santacitta discusses how the hindrances and the Factors of Awakening (Enlightenment) are related to each other.  

The Factors of Awakening are sometimes called the anti-hindrance factors.  The hindrances hinder our minds from seeing clearly.  The five hindrances actually have seven factors as two of them are a pair: sloth and torpor and restlessness and worry.  Thus there is one awakening factor to counter each hindrance.  

Desire is paired with mindfulness.  If we know it, we are no longer under it's sway.  We can step out of it.

Anger/Ill will is paired with investigation; taking an interest in why it has arisen or the conditions that can settle it.

Sloth and torpor is paired with energy and joy/contentment.  

Restlessness and worry is paired with tranquility and stability of mind (samadhi).

Spiritual doubt is paired with equanimity.

Just as garden compost nurtures the growth of beautiful flowers, the hindrances form the compost for the development of the Seven Factors of Awakening.

Mindfulness is the central factor.  It determines which of the other factors are needed to bring the mind into harmony.  Investigation of Dhammas, energy and joy are energizing factors if we are tired or dull. Tranquility, stability and equanimity are the calming factors if we are unable to settle the mind.

Spiritual friends are the most important external support for the Factors of Awakening and wise attention is the most important internal support. Ayya read to us SN 46:51, the Sutta on the feeding and starving of the hindrances and the Factors of Awakening.  Determining if an action will lead to a good outcome for ourselves and for others is very important.

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