28 Jul
Posted in: Talks
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What’s the Beautiful Thing to Do?

budda-dana-mudraFriends, there is yet another incredibly wonderful talk by Ajahn Sucitto that I just can’t help sharing with you. It’s a talk that was given on the last morning of an 8-day retreat, but it’s not your typical get-ready-to-go-back-into-daily-life talk. It starts like this:

Hopefully, you will all find your own way. Even the Buddha could only point. He couldn’t really take somebody by the hand. So we have to find the hand that will lead us. And actually, the hand that will lead you is sitting right there in you. The task of the teacher is to shake that hand….

This is not something that happens only on retreat. Your Citta [your heart/mind, the hand that will lead you] is there all the time. Solitary meditation alone has it’s benefits but it has its limitations. The life model is Sangha….

Life is very much a mutual environment, but sometimes the mutuality can tend to be exploitative. This can limit us. It hurts us and causes us harm. We can’t really completely meet on a personal level because we are differentiated — we are marked by our own karma — but on a transpersonal level we almost can’t help but meet each other because the Citta is resonant. This means that we are affected by each other. We are moved by each other. We are frightened by each other. We are inspired by each other. We are warmed by each other. We are hurt by each other. We can’t help it.

So it is very important to sense the quality of what is often called “Spiritual Friendship” — Kalayana Mitta. “Mitta” means “associates”, “companions”, “friends”. “Kalayana” means “the true”, the “good”, the “beautiful”.

Do you look for the beautiful? Do you consider: “what’s the beautiful thing to do?”

Kindness is beautiful, isn’t it? It doesn’t always solve things, but it’s beautiful. That’s the way the Citta can operate in the personal world without getting buried or contaminated….

Part of giving is to use one’s deep attention to access the qualities of Citta (that which is calm, that which is grounded, that which is compassionate, that which is discerning)…and to hold that for oneself. But also, because the Citta is transpersonal, this will affect others. Those who can pick it up will pick it up. Most people will pick up some of it. You don’t even really have to explain that much. People will pick it up. And that will really help you to acknowledge your own qualities. As we model it, as we resonate, that will bring these qualities out in each of us… 

You just want to wake the person’s Citta to do its own process. Citta needs that sense of support, which is the fundamental quality of Kalyana Mitta. And, in fact, of deep attention. These are actually mirror images of each other. They both represent the same fundamental faculty…

How you can be with another and how you can be with yourself is the same process. Establish the ground so the Citta will come out. Which is does when there’s primary resonance. It comes out when it feels safe, when it feels held, when it feels shared. That’s the fundamental thing. And then we ask: What is needed now? Not what great ideas do I have, but what does this need now. And it might need just that. Because we have fundamental wisdom. We are endowed with the ability to discern, to sense, to assess, to feel the difference between stress and non-stress, between skillful and unskillful….

This is a resonance that is coming up. It’s not a person. It’s a resonance of fear or aversion or resentment or whatever. And there isn’t a person who’s going to fix it either. Remember, you are dealing with Citta, not with persons. Including this person (you). The personal is limited. But Citta is not limited. Or, it doesn’t have to be limited. Citta is measureless. The measureless mind.


It goes on, but I think that’s enough for a post. (The above is edited.) Listen to the whole talk. (49 min). It’s worth it. Click here.


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