Mind and Awareness

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Mindfulness: a distinct mental factor that repeatedly brings to mind a phenomenon of previous acquaintance without forgetting it. It doesn’t allow the mind to be distracted from the object and is the basis for concentration.

Access here various teachings on the Buddhist philosophy of mind and awareness or lorig (Tib.). Topics include the divisions of the “selfless,” types of cognizers and the classification of objects; the division of mind into primary minds and mental factors; an explanation of virtuous and afflictive mental factors; how to identify our afflictions in daily life and apply antidotes; and how to cultivate positive states of mind that fuel our spiritual progress.

Who it’s for

This series of teachings provides an in-depth map of the Buddhist understanding of the mind and its functions. It provides not only a philosophical lay-out of the divisions of mind and awareness, but practical instructions on how to utilize this understanding to cultivate positive states of mind, and free ourselves from destructive ones.

Content and resources

Venerable Thubten Chodron gave two extensive commentaries on mind and awareness.

The first set of teachings was a commentary to Geshe Jampel Sampel’s text Presentation of Mind and Awareness, Composite of All the Important Points, Opener of the Eye of New Intelligence. This series covers topics such as:

  • Divisions of the ‘selfless’
  • Classification of objects
  • Object possessors and the seven types of cognizers

Access the audio and video records of this 25-part series, which includes review quizzes

Separately, Venerable Chodron taught extensively on “mind and mental factors,” the sautantrika tenet system presentation of the mind and its functions. This 25-part series includes topics such as:

  • Primary minds and mental factors
  • Omnipresent mental factors
  • Virtuous mental factors
  • Afflictive mental factors
  • Mind-training
  • Antidotes to the afflictions

Access the audio recordings

Video and audio recordings from a more concise (4-part) presentation of “mind and mental factors” can be accessed here:

An outline of the 51 mental factors and their definitions can also be accessed here.

In 2019, Venerable Sangye Khadro gave a series of teachings during the weekly Thursday evening Course in Buddhist Reasoning and Debate. The videos can be accessed here:

Consideration for others: a distinct mental factor that avoids negativity for the sake of others. It enables us to restrain from harmful physical, verbal and mental actions, acts as the basis for maintaining pure ethical conduct, prevents others from losing faith in us, and causes joy to arise in others’ minds.