As a monk, I bring a strong commitment, along with the renunciate flavor, to the classic Buddhist teachings. I play with ideas, with humor and a current way of expressing the teachings, but I don't dilute them.
Sitting in a field of fifty to eighty people really starts my mind sparking. Since I don't prepare my talks ahead of time, I find myself listening to what I'm saying along with everyone else. This leaves a lot of room for the Dhamma to come up. Just having eighty people listening to me is enough to engage me, stimulate me, and create a nice flow of energy. The actual process of teaching evokes ideas that even I did not realize were being held somewhere in my mind.
Different teaching situations offer their own unique value. In retreat, you are able to build a cohesive and comprehensive body of the teachings. When people are not on retreat and come for one session, it opens a different window. They are more spontaneous and I'm given the chance to contact them in ways that are closer to their "daily-life mind." This brings up surprises and interesting opportunities for me to learn even more.
I'm continually struck by how important it is to establish a foundation of morality, commitment, and a sense of personal values for the Vipassana teachings to rest upon. Personal values have to be more than ideas. They have to actually work for us, to be genuinely felt in our lives. We can't bluff our way into insight. The investigative path is an intimate experience that empowers our individuality in a way that is not egocentric. Vipassana encourages transpersonal individuality rather than ego enhancement. It allow for a spacious authenticity to replace a defended personality.
Meditation is a process repeatedly placing attention. Keep touching references of comfort and steadiness, listen and linger until citta picks up the sign. We begin to learn what is suitable, what is working to gladden citta. It then has the strength to break down the afflictions of heart and body.
Please explain Ajahn Maha Boowa’s comment that citta ‘does not die’; is the experience of something that sees and receives experience citta; is citta what Tibetans call ‘mind itself’; is pure citta synonymous with pure knowing; please clarify comment about ‘storms passing through’ in relation to suicide; do we know when we are experiencing citta; how to rest in citta, the place of no ‘I’?
Reading from several sources, the unrestricted citta is described. Beyond the world of phenomena, its baseline is open luminosity. The encouragement is to get in touch with its knowingness – jhāna is how we deepen into mind’s nature.
The baseline of citta is openness, but it’s forgotten, mesmerized by its constrictions. Return to this primary citta, beneath the external and internal concerns. Take as support breathing out and breathing in.
Meditation offers an important reference point out of the world of circumstances. Mindfulness of body and breathing offer rest and replenishment, giving citta access to its life force energy. Ends with walking meditation instructions.
Meaning of ‘The citta goes to distinction’; search for security externally and internally; the wrapping and unwrapping of citta; manas and its relationship to citta; practicing with grief; is citta the unconditioned; please clarify comment about vipassana practice; when is observing bodily/somatic states dissociation and cutting off from them?
The affective heart aspect of citta is absolutely essential for cultivation. Instead of contracting in the face of dukkha, it can open – rise up to it – with compassion, gladness, equanimity. This is what makes a human magnificent.
The perceptions that cause contraction can be shifted and changed. Going to the root of where the perceptions arise, pause – don’t follow the immediate reflex. Ask – what’s helpful now? Let the unrestricted citta respond.
Meaning of ‘concocted’; upward movement of energy; difference between manas and mano; meaning of ‘pure mind’; development of ‘wise discernment’; citta as process rather than thing; can yoga help unbind citta; difference in Vedic meaning of ‘chitta’ and Buddha’s use of ‘citta’; where duality comes in; meaning of ‘unwrapped citta’; Ajahn Maha Boowa’s characterization of citta.
We rarely experience pure citta. What we experience are its wrappings – its conditioned programs. Our aim is to first make the wrapping as good and beneficial as possible, and second, to release citta from all conditions.