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Satipatthana Sutta, Third Foundation: Division Through Doubt

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2011-03-29
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



The mind finds endless reasons to energetically split itself in two.  “Shoulds,” denials, rationalizations, resentments, and countless other states are energetic divisions, where the mind is trying to have what it wants while hiding from its assumed reality. Doubt is perhaps the most common expression of this pattern. Doubt reaches for what it wants with half a heart because it fears the repercussions of being a failure.


Doubt divides the mind by energetically pulling back from fear of failure. From doubt we engage our spiritual practices half-heartedly, part of us defending against the assumption of self-inadequacy and part of us trying to push forward despite our hesitancy. We end up spinning in circles because we refuse to completely expose the doubt to awareness and wisdom. This week look at your meditation practice and see if you are discouraged by it in any way. Is the discouragement self-doubt? Does this doubt permeate the story of your life? Remember that making the mind whole is freedom, and doubt is fracturing that wholeness. Resolve to understand your doubt by making it the central focus of your practice until the mind becomes unified.


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