Last week, we recommitted to our practice of Mindfulness, the first of the Seven Factors of Awakening (qualities of mind/heart that lead to awakening). From these mental factors an awakened perspective emerges.
The second factor, dhammavicaya, keen investigation of Dhamma, invites a penetrating mind to join mindfulness with investigation of things as they are. Rather than relating to life experience in a superficial way, we relax into it with deep curiosity and interest to learn from, rather than judge, what is happening.
In the texts, the mind of investigation is likened to a stone sinking deep into water, rather than superficially tossed about like a cork bobbing on the water’s surface. Investigating deeply all mental, emotional and physical events, whether seemingly significant or insignificant, of pleasant, unpleasant or neutral feeling, by asking, “what is this?”, stopping, listening and observing in stillness, the Path deepens.
Approaching experience in this way, we understand viscerally the evanescent, constantly changing and ephemeral nature of life itself, dependently arisen. No longer seen as “I,” “me” and “mine,” experience is deeply understood as the result of causes and conditions lawfully unfolding, culminating in effects, phenomena naturally coming together and falling apart.
Seeing thus, we are not bombarded and bobbled by the coming and going of events. Response (not reactivity) is appropriate. Where there is injustice, inequity, difficulty, done is what must be done and let go is what must be let go—the joys and vicissitudes of life completely embraced, no part left out—the heart/mind of wisdom and compassion fully aware and awake.