The 7 Factors for Awakening — Waypoints on the Journey to Enlightenment (part of the 7 Sets series)

English: Paticcasamuppada (In Pali), life Cycl...

Paticcasamuppada (Pali), life cycle wheel of beings, good to use for Vipassana mediators and important to understand.

The 7 Factors for Awakening set is a kind of a road map toward Enlightenment. (7 Sets main) These are the steps to take to become enlightened.

1. Mindfulness
2. Insight (or Analysis of Qualities — the behavior of insight)
3. Persistence
4. Rapture
5. Serenity
6. Concentration
7. Equanimity

The last four are the four Jhanas, which we’ve talked about.  These are levels of attainment achieved in sequence. One attains the Jhana of Rapture before one attains the Jhana of Serenity, and so forth.

Mindfulness and Analysis of Qualities probably do not need to be attained in that sequence. Rather, these are preliminary tools. Persistence clearly is necessary throughout.

I have seen Buddhism divided into three basic parts:

  • Vipassana — Insight into the nature of things.  This is the contemplation of what is true.  It is more intuitive than what we normally call “theology,” but constitutes a deep awareness of transcendent truths, and therefore might be considered metaphysical in nature.
  • Samatha — quiet mind.  This is the meditative version of what for a hypnotist is command of trance state, also called state control.
  • The Jhanas — the levels to Stream Entry.  These are enduring states of the psyche, or foundational changes in one’s spiritual body.
The 7 Factors for Awakening are these three, plus persistent effort.
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