Deepening the Practice, Exploring Consciousness

Self-Paced Course

Available Now!

Exploring the Five Nama Factors

Join world renowned meditation teacher Martine Batchelor as she presents a deep and comprehensive examination of the nature of consciousness.

The course will explore the five conditioning functions of consciousness, also known as the five omnipresent factors of consciousness or, technically, the five nama factors:

contact, feeling, perception, intention, and attention

and their relevance to mindfulness and meditation practice in daily life.

The Buddha said in an early sutta:

“When what exists does consciousness come to be? By what is consciousness conditioned?” Then, monks, through careful attention, there took place in me a breakthrough by wisdom: “When there is name-and-form, consciousness comes to be; consciousness has name-and-form as its condition.”

In this quote, the Buddha posits that consciousness (Pali: vinnana) is an emergent property of name-and-form (Pali: namarupa). In the early Buddhist tradition it was used to refer to the material and mental conditions that generated consciousness.

“Form” (as in form and matter) refers to the material world that impacts the senses; “name” refers to the primary mental processes triggered by our moment-to-moment encounters with the world. “Name” is constituted by five elements—contact, feeling, perception, intention, and attention.

In this course Martine will show how beneficial it can be for one’s practice and one’s life to reflect and explore these five conscious potentialities in depth.

Module 1 – Contact (phassa)

In the first module Martine explores contact, which is the initial impact of the world on one of the six sense organs – eyes, nose, ears, body, mind, tongue.

It is so essential to be more mindful of contact because this is where things start to happen that can lead to suffering for ourselves and others.

Martine will explore the difference between grasping and creative engagement in the teaching. The guided meditation will be connected to mindfulness of listening and of physical sensations. The exercises in daily life will suggest mindfulness of what we see, smell, taste and think.

Module 2 – Feeling tone (vedana)

In the second module Martine will define and study feeling tones, the experience of that previous impact as pleasurable, painful, or neutral. Martine will present in great detail feeling tones and their particular influence on our behavior, which she will connect to ethics.

The guided meditation will be mindfulness of the feeling tones as connected to the breath, the sounds, physical sensations and thoughts. In the suggested exercises there will be an exploration of timing in terms of our experience of the feeling tones.

Module 3 – Perception (sanna)

In the third module Martine will examine perception: that which identifies the object as this object rather than that object by differentiation.

Martine will look at how feeling tones condition perception. She will also explore perception in terms of the way we interpret and give meaning to the world.

Martine will investigate the mis-perceptions we might have about ourselves and the way we experience ourselves and others.

Finally she will present Zen questioning meditation.

The guided meditation will be on meditating with the question: “What is this?”

Module 4 – Intention (cetana=karma) and Attention (manasikara)

“It is intention (cetana), monks, that I declare to be action (kamma). Having willed, one performs an action of body, speech or mind.”

[A. VI, 63, p. 173]

The fourth module will cover intention and attention. Intention being the movement toward and engagement with the world (but also recoiling and disengaging from it). It is connected to making moral choices and acting on them.

In this context we will look at the power of setting an intention with the help of a caring and careful mindfulness. Martine will also look at the idea of karma and its connection to intention in early Buddhist texts like the Kalama Sutta and the Sivaka Sutta, and their relevance to our situation in the modern world.

We will also look at attention, that which apprehends and focuses on an object, an important potential and quality to develop in meditation. We will see that we have great power of concentration but might not use it wisely. Martine will explore the power of attention in terms of creating a certain radar like effect if we grasp at the object or person we focus on and the usefulness sometimes of lack of attention.

The final guided meditation will be on appreciative/altruistic joy (mudita). The exercises will explore how to develop appreciative joy in daily life.

Self-Paced Course Details

8 Hours of video teachings

Filmed in high definition with only you in mind, having an intimate and personal feel that will keep you engaged as your body, mind and heart tune in.

Experiential Exercises

Martine offers experiential exercises within each module to take the practice off of the cushion and into your daily life.

Guided Meditations

Martine offers a guided meditation within each module to support your deepening exploration of consciousness.

Recorded Q&A Sessions

Videos of 4 recorded interactive sessions from a previous live release of the course are included.

About Martine Batchelor

Martine Batchelor was born in France in 1953. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in Korea in 1975. She studied Zen Buddhism under the guidance of the late Master Kusan at Songgwang Sa monastery until 1984. Following Master Kusan’s death she returned her nun’s vows and left Korea. She returned to Europe with her husband, Stephen, in 1985. She was a member of the Sharpham North Community in Devon, England for six years. She worked as a lecturer and spiritual counsellor both at Gaia House and elsewhere in Britain. She is the author of Meditation for Life, Let Go, and Women in Korean Zen (2007) and The Spirit of the Buddha (2010). With her husband she co-leads meditation retreats worldwide. They now live in France.