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Retreat Dharma Talks

Citta: Mind, Heart, Spirit

‘Citta’ is perhaps the single most important reference point in Buddhist practice; it is that which is subject to ignorance and has the potential for liberation. Although the word is often translated as ‘mind’, in practice ‘mind’ falls short of the scope and the intimacy of ‘citta’. Although ‘heart’ is another useful option, this doesn’t cover citta’s full potential for samādhi, wisdom and release.
In this online retreat, we’ll explore some ways in which the term is used in the context of the Pali Canon, as well as practices for revealing and clearing citta through meditation and inquiry.

2020-12-06 (37 days) Bodhi College

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2020-12-06 Overview of Citta 50:18
Ajahn Sucitto
Referring to various Dhammapada passages, we come to understand that citta is stuck, grasped, bound up. But it can be released with wisdom. In meditation we practice calming and steadying. Citta can bond to body or breathing rather than running out.
2020-12-06 Guided Meditation – Training the Mind with Light Touch and Listening 25:36
Ajahn Sucitto
Citta is energetic, its energies habituated to going out. Settle and calm it through the body, and sustain attention with light touch and listening, vitaka-vicara. Listen for a long time to what you place your attention on. Mind becomes calm and receptive.
2020-12-07 Guided Meditation – Centring and Stabillizing Citta 39:11
Ajahn Sucitto
Citta is our center, but it’s conditioned to allowing itself to be occupied with transient phenomena. In meditation we can shift back to citta as the center, thereby weakening the habits of running out and trying to control circumstances.
2020-12-07 Guided Meditation – Intentional Aspect of Citta 29:13
Ajahn Sucitto
Beginning with citta’s ability to intend and attend, steer away from distractions and compulsions. Establish mindfulness (sati ) using body as a mooring post. Guidance around breathing and body follow.
2020-12-07 Citta Wrapped in Khanda = Contraction 48:03
Ajahn Sucitto
We rarely experience pure citta. What we experience are its wrappings – its conditioned programs. Our aim is to first make the wrapping as good and beneficial as possible, and second, to release citta from all conditions.
2020-12-07 Afternoon Q&A 27:29
Ajahn Sucitto
Meaning of ‘concocted’; upward movement of energy; difference between manas and mano; meaning of ‘pure mind’; development of ‘wise discernment’; citta as process rather than thing; can yoga help unbind citta; difference in Vedic meaning of ‘chitta’ and Buddha’s use of ‘citta’; where duality comes in; meaning of ‘unwrapped citta’; Ajahn Maha Boowa’s characterization of citta.
2020-12-07 Summary – Checking Perception 10:09
Ajahn Sucitto
The perceptions that cause contraction can be shifted and changed. Going to the root of where the perceptions arise, pause – don’t follow the immediate reflex. Ask – what’s helpful now? Let the unrestricted citta respond.
2020-12-07 Recollecting and Appreciating Citta as Heart 31:35
Ajahn Sucitto
The affective heart aspect of citta is absolutely essential for cultivation. Instead of contracting in the face of dukkha, it can open – rise up to it – with compassion, gladness, equanimity. This is what makes a human magnificent.
2020-12-07 Evening Q&A 42:53
Ajahn Sucitto
Meaning of ‘The citta goes to distinction’; search for security externally and internally; the wrapping and unwrapping of citta; manas and its relationship to citta; practicing with grief; is citta the unconditioned; please clarify comment about vipassana practice; when is observing bodily/somatic states dissociation and cutting off from them?
2020-12-08 Guided Meditation – Opening out of Circumstance 24:42
Ajahn Sucitto
Meditation offers an important reference point out of the world of circumstances. Mindfulness of body and breathing offer rest and replenishment, giving citta access to its life force energy. Ends with walking meditation instructions.
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