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Strategies for Overcoming Distracting Thoughts: Practical Wisdom from the Middle Length Discourses

Mental restlessness is an insidious and pervasive hindrance that practitioners struggle to overcome. We can refine our skills for working with the modes of thinking that distract us from being mindful and attentive: critical thoughts, planning, worrying, lustful thoughts, judging, memories, and internal commentaries, to name a few. The teachings on this weekend retreat are based on two discourses in the Middle Length Discourses (suttas 19 and 20). They present a sequence of strategies for dealing with obstructive mental patterns that can arise during mindfulness and concentration practice as well as daily activities.