9 Aug
Posted in: Teachers
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You’re Here, You’re OK

The latest issue of the Spirit Rock News just came out and it’s got a great interview with Ajahn Sucitto. You can read it on-line by clicking here. In the mean time, here’s a peek:

“It’s pretty obvious in our normal experience that when we experience a strong passion, there’s a bodily sense as well as a heart-sense with that….As you begin to sensitize, you realize that the basic colorations of the heart have bodily references to them….

“In the suttas it says if your body’s relaxed and comfortable you don’t need to make any particular push [to focus the mind in meditation]. The heart will be happy. And when the heart is happy, it will be concentrated. So body, heart, concentration…yeah…and happiness.

“So the connection there that the Buddha’s making is the body needs to be relaxed — open body — and the heart, the mind, needs somewhere to sit. Otherwise it’s going to have to keep jumping from this to that to find a basis. Now, because the heart’s affected profoundly by feeling and the body’s affected by feeling, they can meet at the feeling place. And if the body feels steady and comfortable, the heart will feel steady and comfortable.

“It’s not the case that by an act of will I can make my heart/mind steady and comfortable. I can’t say: ‘be quiet, be happy,’ but I can get my body to relax and steady. When we come into what we call classic deep meditation, the initial instruction is mindfulness of the body, and as you deepen into that, your heart will come to it.

So then the body acts as ‘the parent.’ You know, the one that can hold the little heart when it’s frightened, desperate and needs things to hold onto. Says ‘you’re here, you’re okay, and then it does settle.”

(image from: Mother’s Kiss, by Mary Cassatt — detail)

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