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.
Discernment is easily biased by the five aggregates, especially mental constructions such as uncertainty and ‘not quite right yet’. Contemplating citta we can understand suffering rather than adopt a notion of solving it.
Self massage helps body awareness arise. With mental intention, alternately directing and releasing activation energy around the body, we increase connectivity and provide a broad basis for mindfulness.
Questions are précised and some are read later into the file to protect participants’ anonymity. 00:00 Q1 Please say more about sankara and their physiological / psychosomatic body links; 18:06 Q2 I have a question about tears borne from love and grieving. How does this fit with equanimity?
Hindrances can be cleared through ‘mindful direct awareness’ – sati sampajañña. Such working through what blocks the potential of citta, demands humility, since it is not one’s personal self doing the work. Body is a key and potent resource.
Questions are précised and some are read later into the file to protect participants’ anonymity. 00:00 Your explanation of sati as putting a ring around proliferation makes sense to me. How best to do the ring-fencing? 12:46 Q2 Does the Buddha say what the purpose of human life is? 17:39 Q3 What happens when you die? 22:37 Q4 Could you speak more about citta resting in itself. 27:24 Q5 Am I trying to do too much when holding a sense of ground and releasing boundaries for myself? 30:20 Q6 Boundaries in relationships when caring for elderly parents.
Sati-mindfulness, or bearing in mind – is the third indriya. It is a powerful ally for liberation. With this we come out of old habits and find freshness, meaning, potency. You feel where your strength arises.