Mindfulness is an empowered awareness that exerts authority over dukkha. Mindfulness doesn’t contract or become agitated by it. Holding steady and curtailing proliferation, it provides the proper laboratory within which wisdom can arise.
An important theme in mind cultivation is to relieve pressure – mental, emotional, physical. This is done through moderating the quality of ground and space. When these are sensed through the body, citta picks up their signs and relaxes its own pressure.
Energy has to be cultivated as a resource for practice. This process has three stages: gathering, specific application, and the strength that can release obstacles. The thinking mind uses energy but cannot generate it; energy is generated in the heart (citta) and in the body. Apply energy to empty out the negative and unskillful – the good and bright will arise on its own.
Sati – mindfulness – is only mentioned once in the Ānāpānasati sutta. ‘Directly feeling and knowing’ – pajānati – is the mode of practice. When we’ve attuned to this, we move to ‘training’. This phase of ānāpānasati begins with training in deeper sensitivity of the entire body.
Wisdom is the know-how faculty that discerns suffering and its end. It knows how the 3 intelligences (verbal, emotional, bodily) can work together to bring about the stilling of saṇkhāras. From it noble knowledge – realization – arises.
The 5 indriya are spiritual faculties that become activated by feeling them in the body. Starting with faith –the pivotal faculty for coming out of the personal and sensory realm – and culminating in wisdom – the ability to discern skillful from unskillful, non-stress from stress – these 5 indriya work to release the mind from the pressure of identity.
Placing one’s attention carefully and repeatedly into embodiment, listen to what manifests as body. Make the shift from conceiving of body to felt knowledge, from regarding body to being body. Clearing away what’s not needed and inviting what’s important, let the body speak and hear itself.
We’re endowed with 3 kinds of intelligence: bodily, heart and verbal/thinking. The priority given to the thinking mind has numbed and shut down the body and heart. We train in direct knowing and primary sympathy to reawaken our deep intelligences.