Tag Archives: Gil Fronsdal

January 29 – Review

Dear Friends, Over the course of the month, we have looked at each of the five faculties and their progression, as described in a series of talks from Gil Fronsdal. Whenever there are lists like this, it can feel overwhelming, like we have to study for an exam in order to pass. If that’s arising for you, please… Read More »

January 26 – A reference point of understanding

Dear Friends, The fifth kind of wisdom Gil discusses is what he calls liberative wisdom.https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/11207 We start practice often from a place of suffering – we initiate practice from this motivation to find freedom from suffering. As we practice, there is more clarity and we can start to distinguish what is happening. That gives us more capabilities to… Read More »

January 25 – Something gets revealed

Dear Friends, Gil’s fourth dimension of wisdom is something he calls “revelatory wisdom.” He uses this phrase because things are revealed to us as we practice.https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/11199 The calming and settling of the mind that we may experience through practice allows us to see more clearly. Something that was always there is clear. Gil uses an example of when… Read More »

January 22 – Wisdom that arises in the forge of suffering

Dear Friends, The fifth faculty is paññā, often translated as wisdom, and Gil offers other words like discernment or insight.https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/11407 Although the word “wisdom” may sound lofty, it’s a faculty we all possess. Gil says “as we settle in and listen deeply, … our psychophysical system will begin to discern what’s happening. We’ll begin to see more and… Read More »

January 20 – A wellspring of joy

Dear Friends, Gil’s fourth talk on the faculty of samadhi considers the state of the mind “when we are fully present, fully engaged in what’s happening.”https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/11153 He talks about some of the more refined states of concentration, often called ‘absorption’ – although he clarifies that this state is not one where we are losing ourselves in the experience.… Read More »

January 19 – Everything coming together into one place

Dear Friends, Continuing the examination of samadhi, Gil brings in a couple of related words that bring out other dimensions in this practice and faculty. Rather than it being a laser-like focus, there’s a sense of “placing something together, bringing together, unifying, gathering together.”https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/11146 We can settle into our experience – gathering all the fragmented parts in our… Read More »

January 18 – Like a bee on a flower

Dear Friends, The next talk on samadhi looks at two movements of concentration practice – to initiate through connecting with an object and to engage with a sustained attention.https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/11141 The two Pali words for these are vitakka (wi-tah-kah) and vicāra (wi-chah-rah). Normally I don’t worry about the pronunciation in my writing, but Gil does a bit of play… Read More »

January 17 – Centering and letting go

Dear Friends, The fourth faculty is samadhi. This word is often translated as “concentration,” but as Gil mentions in this first talk on the topic, “it somewhat limits what samādhi means in the practice we do.”https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/11137 Gil looks at samadhi two ways: as a capacity of the mind, which can become strong as it is used, and the… Read More »

January 16 – We’re all beginners at times

Dear Friends, In Gil’s fifth short talk on the faculty of sati, he gives a overview of the progression thus far, and then briefly expands into exploring awareness itself.https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/11130 Starting with a simple mindfulness – to connect to what’s here. Then having some recognition. Leaning back and observing without interference. Sustaining observation overt time, we notice the flow,… Read More »

January 14 – Settle back and watch

Dear Friends, After we initially establish mindfulness and start to recognize what is happening, we can open up to observing what is happening, without interference. Observation is the third aspect of sati that Gil discusses.https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/11122 When we observe what is happening, we are not interfering with judgments, stories, attitudes, etc., that can cloud our perception. Gil notes, “It’s… Read More »