In this cultivation we’re deepening our understanding of the heart that is at home. The soothing and relaxing quality of breathing supports citta to meet whatever arises. With qualities of love, friendliness and compassion, attune to cause and effect, putting down what brings agitation and contraction, and aligning to what brings well-being.
Guidance for transitioning to standing, staying present, letting uprightness establish itself. Keeping the quality of opening, meeting what is here with love and friendliness, letting breath wash any strain away.
The practice of Mudita or Appreciative Joy cultivates an open and joyful heart that naturally inclines towards connecting with what is uplifting and beautiful in others and in our own lives. It works to counteract the subtle or not-so-subtle tendency towards envy, which tells us that we are deficient in some way.
Returning to sitting, supporting citta to settle and open, we give it skillful things it can be in touch with – breathing, the heart medicines. Understanding the power of perception and feeling, we place attention carefully, bringing qualities of welcome, availability, friendliness – guarding against what is harmful and afflicting. Just knowing, body feels like this, citta feels like this.
We may wonder where love sits in the whole of the Buddha’s teachings. It’s not always directly pointed at in the suttas, but heart cultivations enable citta to know dukkha and wake up to the way things are. Citta is strengthened in its capacity to be present with skillfulness and love, support for which are provided by body and breath.