Seven Factors of Enlightenment / Sieben Faktoren der Erleuchtung / Sete Fatores da Iluminação / Siete Factores de la Iluminación

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment are seven qualities that both lead to enlightenment and also describe enlightenment. The Buddha referred to these factors in several of his sermons recorded in the Pali Tipitika. The factors are called satta bojjhanga in Pali and sapta bodhyanga in Sanskrit.

Mindfulness (sati- sambojjhang)

Right Mindfulness is the seventh part of the Eightfold Path of Buddhism. Mindfulness is a whole-body-and-mind Awareness of the present moment.

To be mindful is to be fully present, not lost in daydreams, anticipation, indulgences, or worry. Mindfulness also means releasing habits of mind that maintain the illusion of a separate self. Mindfulness does not judge between likes and dislikes.

Investigation (dhammavicaya-sambojjhanga)

The second factor is keen investigation into the nature of reality. The Pali term for this second factor is dhamma vicaya, which means to investigate the nature of existence or the manifestations of reality.

The Buddha taught his disciples to not accept what he said on blind faith, but instead to investigate his teaching to realize the truth of them for themselves.

Energy (viriya-sambojjhanga)

Virya retains a connotation of heroic effort and a warrior’s determined zeal. The quest for enlightenment requires tireless strength and courage.

Happiness (pīti-sambojjhanga)

The spiritual path often begins when we deeply realize that getting what we want doesn’t make us happy, or at least not happy for very long. It is what we do, not what we get, that grows happiness.

Tranquility (passaddhi-sambojjhanga)

The fifth factor is calmness or tranquility of body and Consciousness. While the previous factor is a more joyous happiness, this factor is more like the contentment of one who has finished his work and is resting.

Like happiness, tranquility cannot be forced or contrived. It arises naturally from the other factors.

Concentration (samādhi-sambojjhanga)

Like Mindfulness, Right Concentration also is part of the Eightfold Path. Concentration is focusing all of one’s mental faculties onto one physical or mental object and practicing the Four Absorptions.

Equanimity (upekkha-sambojjhanga)

Equanimity in the Buddhist sense is a balance between the extremes of aversion and desire. In other words, it is not being pulled this way and that by what you like and dislike.

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