The most compelling part of my practice right now comes in the form of my writing. For a long time, I've focused my teaching and writing on lovingkindness. Now as I look more deeply into lovingkindness, I find that it actually rests on another foundation, the expression of faith.
Faith is the topic I am exploring most in teaching and writing. Today there is a tremendous upsurge of interest in a new kind of faith, based on a practice where people can experience a direct spirituality, one without rigid dogma or compulsory belief in a specific cosmology. This is a spirituality that rests on personal transformation.
Vipassana allows us to take a method of mind training and craft a way of life that is more compassionate, more ethical and more powerful than our unawakened lives. The Buddha's teachings give us an immediate experience of what we can do to change. Faith in the teachings means we align ourselves with a vision of our greatest possibilities. This is the heart of the practice.
This teaching begins with an overview of the Five Hindrances: Desire, Aversion, Sloth and Torpor, Restlessness, and Doubt and continues with a thorough discussion of the Five Jhanic Factors: Aiming one’s mind, Investigation, Raptness, Comfort in Being, and One-pointedness which the meditator uses to effectively deal with and utilize the Five Hindrances in deepening her/his practice. The meditator gains perspective, alertness, connection, caring, and energy.