In this series, Five Omnipresent Mental Faculties, you will be listening to lightly edited audio teachings by Gelek Rimpoche. These teachings were part of a series on mind and mental faculties titled Inner World of Mind and taught at Jewel Heart in Ann Arbor and New York during 2007 – 2008.

The titles and descriptions of the four sessions are listed below –

Session 1

When we reflect on the human mind, it may appear to us as a singular, perhaps even confusing, uncharted territory. According to Buddhist psychology however, there are 52 mental faculties, or specific subcategories comprising the mind. Some function only occasionally, while five are always present.

In this session, Gelek Rimpoche explains the first mental faculty of “feeling,” which concerns our most fundamental experience of reality: whether we feel good, bad or something in between.

Discrimination and Intention
Session 2

When we say we know something, how do we know it? It is through the second mental faculty of “discrimination,” when we discern and label things. Whether we discern rightly or wrongly, the mental faculty of discrimination is essential to the way we relate to the world.

In this session, Gelek Rimpoche presents this process along with how the third mental faculty of “intention” draws the attention of our mind to a particular person or object, and sometimes seems to overpower the principal mind completely.

Contact and Attention
Session 3

Where do desire and hatred begin within our minds? In this session, Gelek Rimpoche introduces the fourth mental faculty, “contact,” and shares how it connects an object with our principal consciousness as well as a specific sense consciousness.

By providing the basis for us to like or dislike things, this mental faculty has an enormous impact on our daily lives and emotions. Rimpoche then continues with how the mental faculty of “attention” allows our minds to settle on the details of a particular object. This is a fundamental basis for the more developed mental faculties, such as recollection and alertness.

Short Review of Inner World of Mind Thus Far
Session 4

In this session, Gelek Rimpoche provides a broader overview of our overall motivation, reminding us of our larger purpose in studying the mental faculties. Since our mind is what determines whether we have a positive or negative experience in life, by understanding how it functions, we are able to participate more fully in generating our own happiness and our positive progress on the spiritual path.

After briefly discussing the three scopes of Buddhist practice, Rimpoche reviews the first five mental faculties previously explored and concludes with “contact”, the process by which we connect with the sensory world, and “attention”, the way we focus on objects.

Four sessions in total, they range from just under thirty minutes to just under one hour in length.

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