This talk was given as part of the series "Eight Great Thoughts" (Anguttara Nikaya 8:30). Can we be at ease with whatever the situation is, whether it is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral? In this day and age of discontentment, effort put into this practice gives us hope of realizing contentment. We can realize contentment one breath at a time. We have the power to shape our minds. We have the ability to feel and know suffering and be liberated from it. And it is up to us to do the practice, for one who is content is free from greed, anger and delusion.
This talk was given as a part of the series "Where Rubber Meets the Road: A Series on Mindful Living." Vipassana takes our untrained mind as a starting point -- with its unruliness, hindrances, clinging and aversion -- and gives it a clear and systematic way of developing awareness. With practice, this awareness of what's happening within us and around us in any given moment is the key to not being a slave to our thoughts. It also teaches us to rebel against, or turn away from, our mind's tendencies towards greed, hatred and delusion; and instead, to incline our mind towards openness, freedom from attachment, freedom from suffering, loving-kindness, compassion, wisdom, and equanimity. This is the liberating power of awareness and mindfulness.