Dharma Talk

Satipatthana Sutta, Fourth Foundation: Discernment and the Hindrances

Struggling with the hindrances draws us back into form. Each hindrance has to be thoroughly understood so that when it arises we no longer invest reality into its appearance. Discernment is the only tool that can reveal the truth of its emptiness. In seeing the true nature of the hindrance, we see our own and the struggle ends. All other applications of practice reinvest thought into the form and make it more than what it is.

For Your Contemplation

Actively investigate each hindrance by asking, “How is this state supporting the self in this moment?” “What am I getting out of my boredom, aversion, neediness, worry, etc.?” and its limitation, “How is this state limiting awareness?” Refuse to allow the state of mind to settle in as “the reality of this moment.” When you ask questions about the state, rather than act from the state, you put discernment in control.