Session 23: Mindfulness of Breathing (Abdominal), Cultivating Stability and the Five Powers

B. Alan Wallace, 18 Nov 2010

This morning we were honored with the visit of Klaus Hebben, founder and director of PIA. After expressing his gratitude to him, Alan gave an explanation of bala, which literally means power. Referring to the five powers (panchabalani), which are developed by strengthening the five roots or controlling faculties (indriya): faith or devotion (shraddha) which overcomes doubt and false beliefs; enthusiasm or zeal (vidya) which overcomes laziness; mindfulness (sati) which overcomes forgetfulness; perfect concentration (samadhi) which overcomes distractedness; and wisdom (prajña) which overcomes ignorance. He emphasized the balance between enthusiasm and zeal in the case of Vidya, the balance between wisdom and confidence in the case of Prajna and the importance of Sati or Mindfulness, which enables to balance all the other 4 elements. In this second round of meditations after having developed relaxation at the infirmary the day before; we continue today with the cultivation of stability in the practice of Mindfulness of Breathing, focusing on the tactile sensations of the abdomen.

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