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.
Is mano essentially the same as citta sankhara;? Is there awareness besides sense consciousness? Clarification between sati/mindfulness and citta. Is mindfulness of body necessary for liberation, why? Difference between circumstances and conditions; how to “eradicate” self-view.
Referring to the Madhupiṇḍika Sutta, The Honeyball, (MN18), Ajahn Sucitto describes a two-fold training to get a handle on and curtail mental proliferation. Citta can be trained through deliberate attention to starve afflictive intentions, and to instead establish pāramī tendencies towards renunciation, clarity and patience.
The Buddha’s instructions for gladdening the mind are not to be skimmed over. Without qualities such as gladness and appreciation we approach practice through the highly conditioned, self-conscious personality. Gladdening must directly touch the citta which cannot be reached through the rational mind or personality. Ajahn suggests accessing citta through imagination and play.
The experience of the aggregates doesn’t have to lead to suffering. Addressing the form aggregate of body, Ajahn Sucitto describes ways it teaches us, purifies the heart and mind, and can act as a source of refuge for our long-lasting welfare and benefit.
Translation of vipassana bhumi chant; clarificiation around sutta passage that asserts that a female could never become a Buddha; why we chant the Refuge Mantra 9 times; questions around working with perception; skillful contemplation of independence; taking pleasure from food; how to recognize and clear blocked energy in the body
Citta takes the five khandhå as truth, placing faith in them to be reliable and satisfying. The Buddha likened them to murderous thieves, not trustworthy. Truth is found in our center, not the peripherals. This is where our liberation potential lies.
The aggregates themselves are not problematic, it’s our blind, desperate clinging to them that causes suffering. It’s possible for citta to radiate into the aggregates and into our lives. First what’s needed is the act of withdrawing into a place of refuge to collect and gather. Then the act of integration, bringing qualities of calm, kindness, resolve into our spee
We need firm ground to stand on before meeting the difficulties of our lives. Without that firm place, the difficulties don’t unravel –you unravel. With cultivation of the five spiritual faculties – indriyas – they become rock solid, enabling us to stand back from experience and allow it to unravel and pass.
In a field of experience, qualities that are assumed to be other people, entities or myself because of the way they’re stuck together can be seen as specific factors that are pliable and flexible. “Field awareness” means a wider span of attention where suppressed, unnoticed, unresolved energies can arise and be discharged, purifying the bodily field.
Compulsive problematic activations can be replaced with conscious deliberate ones aimed at liberation. Whether in daily activities or in the action of meditation, we can steady and calm energy by orienting around skillful signs – generosity, service, clarity – until the mind is comforted and no longer flowing down old tracks.