The fourth foundation of mindfulness lists five groupings for contemplation - the five hindrances, the five aggregates, the six sense bases, the seven factors of awakening, and the Four Noble Truths. We gather insights into these categories as we practice with the first three foundations of mindfulness and as we attend to mundane activities of our lives.
When we are suffering from stress, we are paying attention to our world in a narrow and rigid way. Through meditations that cultivate a wakeful and open attention, we can dramatically transform the feelings of anxiety and aloneness that underlie all stress.
After considering how cultivating equanimity helps us to release and find balance with our conditioned patterns, we explore the powerful principle expressed by T.S. Elliot as "Ours is in the trying, the rest is not our business."
Worry attempts to protect us from every contingency. It becomes a pattern and view of life where I am the guardian and protector of my security. Worry is actually a process of self-affirmation because we keep affirming our power over what life brings forth. If I let down my guard, life would be chaotic and out of control, and therefore I need to worry to have everything turn out as I wish. Worry and planning elevates us to the status of a god while we are actually being controlled by fear.