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.
The quality of the sacred is missing from our lives, that which is totally true and is always there. We can open to it every day, from that stable place of embodiment. From that open center, we form a relational entity that can carry our values and virtues forward.
Impact of other people; over-reliance on others; staying open with the unknown; responding to others’ sense of entitlement; innate truth of the cosmos; citta and the sense world; fear and constriction in the energy body.
Mostly we operate from a fragment, excluding the whole of experience because it doesn’t fit our model of what should be. Return to wholeness, first in your own heart and mind, then extending it to society. Maintain a wide focus and receptivity, an open state where citta remains attuned, and you’ll find your inner security, having plugged into the life force as it manifests in this body.
Subject-object division of the senses; hardening in the face of trauma; greed, hatred and delusion; caring for others; broad vs. specific attention; harmonious relationships; experience of subjectivity; relationship of verbal formation (vacī saṇkhāra) to ānāpānasati.
There is such a thing as good and evil and they give rise to fortunate or unfortunate consequences. Good and evil not as value judgments, but as particular energies that have consequences. The heart opens as a consequence of skillful energies, like generosity and love. This is the key to the celestial domains of the Sacred Cosmos, where gods are void of judgment and keen on Dhamma as a way to happiness.
Supporting the heart with embodiment, with steady ground and safe space, allow breathing to happen naturally. Releasing what’s not needed, the subtle shielding around the body, open to what’s around with goodwill and love. Whatever arises, breathing it in, breathing it out.
Standing can help adjust you physically, anatomically and psychologically. Establish balance, connection, openness and ease. Let breathing flow through you. Aim for what’s harmonious in all that – open, allowing. This is the birthplace of wisdom and compassion.
There are many kinds of world – biological, political, and so on. Their common source of discord is selfishness, the separatist, supremacist view. The common intention of all worlds is the search for safe ground. We might start with a safe human environment, then establish safe embodiment. When there is safety, security and truthfulness, by itself citta opens and brings forth its own qualities – love, wisdom and morality. These are our unique offerings to heal the discord in any world.
This body that we can see as an object it’s also a subject – it’s a feeling, intelligent creature. Start with this right attitude, right view, and open the mind from the assumptions about body as an object to treating it as a sensitive creature. As we liberate this creature from clinging and identity, the witnessing heart – awareness – becomes more steady and peaceful.