In cultivation we’re learning to experience things directly as they really are. We come to understand that we are moved and triggered by signs, not things. A lot of practice is about turning attention away from unskillful signs and cultivating skillful ones – cooperation, generosity, goodness. Then you’ve got something precious that takes you through difficult places and makes you feel comfortable when you’re in a bleak state.
The protocols for cultivation of citta differ from those that operate in the sense world. Step back from the object and notice how it’s affecting you; notice how the subject is being affected. This leads to a purification in terms of engagement with phenomena, and draws away from clinging and passion. From this place of solidity and strength, turn back to the wisdom of your own heart and act from there.
In meditation, one might recognize troughs and peaks with regard to feeling. The idea is to smooth these out so we understand what touches us and how we react. Body and mind work together to create a stable, open presence so we don’t get swept away. Widening, opening, receiving activated energies but not the stories. This is the way you can level out the peaks and troughs.
One common misperception of meditation is that it aims to stop thinking, but the true purpose of insight meditation is to develop a more skilful relationship to every aspect of our experience, including our thoughts and emotions.
During this talk, we will explore some ways to let go of unhelpful mental habits and to cultivate helpful ones: states of heart and mind that lead to greater ease, happiness, peace and freedom.
If we are suffering, it is because we are believing something that is not true and caught in emotional reactivity. A key tool in meditation is investigation–actively inquiring into what is happening inside us. When we investigate with sincere interest and care, the light of our attention untangles difficult emotions and nourishes intimate relationships. As this light is turned toward awareness itself, it reveals the radiance and emptiness of our true nature.