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.
Beginning with citta’s ability to intend and attend, steer away from distractions and compulsions. Establish mindfulness (sati ) using body as a mooring post. Guidance around breathing and body follow.
Citta is our center, but it’s conditioned to allowing itself to be occupied with transient phenomena. In meditation we can shift back to citta as the center, thereby weakening the habits of running out and trying to control circumstances.
Citta is energetic, its energies habituated to going out. Settle and calm it through the body, and sustain attention with light touch and listening, vitaka-vicara. Listen for a long time to what you place your attention on. Mind becomes calm and receptive.
Referring to various Dhammapada passages, we come to understand that citta is stuck, grasped, bound up. But it can be released with wisdom. In meditation we practice calming and steadying.
Citta can bond to body or breathing rather than running out.