Loading Events

« All Courses

Distraction: Strategies for Overcoming Distracting Thoughts
Dates: Sep 29, 2020 - Oct 04, 2020
Days: Tue - Sun (5 Nights)

Instructor(s): Shaila Catherine

Course Navigation

Mental restlessness is an insidious and pervasive hindrance that most meditators struggle to overcome. We can refine our skills for working with the modes of thinking that distract us from being mindful and disrupt concentration: obsessive planning, worrying, lustful thoughts, judging, memories, internal commentaries, to name a few. This course will explore a sequence of strategies for dealing with obstructive mental patterns derived from two discourses taught by the Buddha (The Discourse on Two Sorts of Thinking and The Discourse on the Relaxation of Thoughts). The program will include study of the discourses of the Buddha, discussion, and meditation practice to gain experiential insight and meditative strategies for overcoming distractions.

Learning Intentions:

To identify thoughts and mental patterns that are either helpful or harmful; discover how habitual thought patterns function, recognize what feeds them and know where they lead; apply a traditional sequence of strategies for removing distracting thoughts; practice letting go of unwholesome patterns and freeing the mind from restlessness and conceit; enhance the ability to think clearly, reflect wisely, apply attention skillfully, and effectively organize commitments; and investigate the patterns of thought, emotion, and attachment that construct and sustain the concept of self.

Noble Silence and Mindful Speech:

Noble silence will be observed following the evening session through breakfast the following morning with some additional periods of silence.

Experience Level:

Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.

  • Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses, an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a Buddhist meditation center in Silicon Valley. She authored two books on concentration and insight—Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, and Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana. She began practicing meditation in 1980 and has dedicated more than nine years to silent retreats. Shaila has been teaching meditation internationally since 1996.