14 Dec
Posted in: Talks
By    Comments Off on The Mind Points. The Heart Receives.

The Mind Points. The Heart Receives.

I continue to re-listen to the talk on Relational Dhamma, by Ajahn Sucitto, which I quoted extensively in my last post. I can’t help myself, so here’s another excerpt:

“Although we conceptually understand that our experience is relational, when it comes into practice many people have very dysfunctional, or afflictive, relational strategies: I control it, push it away, look somewhere else, or give up.

“What eventually occurs is the sense of an isolated self — an isolated entity — trying to deal with their mind. And then not being able to do it because the relationship is wrong.

“There’s not enough loving acceptance. There’s not enough spaciousness. Not enough openness.

“Quite a lot of meditation instructions — certainly when I first started — are very much about getting crystal clear definition of the object. To maintaining an unwavering, moment-by-moment crystal clear definition of the object. The subject: not there. Just object. Deal with the object. The subject: no self, not there, forget about it. Just deal with the object.

“But the kind of mindset that that sets up is of a continual lack of heart.

“One begins to use the mind — or “citta” — like a finger that points.

“This very much mirrors the visual way of relating to experience, which is: object definition. Which is great for clarity. For crystal clarity.

“But useless for relationship. Because it’s got no ability to receive anything. It just points. And directs.

“…So now, what I’m noticing is that many of the fundamental problems that people are experiencing — which are essentially a lack of loving acceptance, a lack of ease with other people, a tendency to continue to perform to try to get somewhere or to become something — are not addressed in the standard model of meditation instructions.

“In fact, the standard model often unconsciously encourages those problems — the isolation, the dependence on purely one’s own intellect and one’s ability to focus, and also the lack of receptability.

“We’re beginning to recognize that the word “citta” — which is that which can be purified and realizes liberation — is probably best translated as “heart.” Heart, Mind –these words are interchangeable, but…. Come to “heart” and you realize that “heart” doesn’t do that: [he points his finger]. It does that: [he opens the palm of his hand].

“And that’s a very different focus. It’s just as sensitive because the finger doesn’t receive. But the hand — the palm — does. And it can be just as accurate in its own way.

“So we’re staring to use focus much more in the receptive sense of: What is this doing to me; How is this effecting me; Who am I when I’m with these people; How am I when I’m with this one; How am I when there’s no one…

“And now there’s the beginning of the ability to understand the mutable nature of the ‘self’ that comes out of the relationship, rather than the ‘self’ being an entity than needs to attain concentration in order to be released…


The above is just a taste. Click here to listen to the talk in full.

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