1

Jon Kabat Zinn explains that Mindfulness in Asia means 'Heartfulness'

He describes integrating buddhist tenets such as beginner's mind, non-judgment, letting go, acceptance, trust, gratitude and generosity into mindfulness as part of informal meditation.

My difficulty with my formal and informal meditation practice through the course of the day seems mechanical because I don't know how to cultivate and integrate heart into it. I am aware of my senses. I have the mind be still with little or no thought. But there doesn't seem to be anything warm, understanding, loving or appreciative. It doesn't feel rewarding at all beyond discipline of the mind.

I ask myself, if mind must be still and thoughts silent, how to I cultivate matters of the heart in my meditation. Or do I allows for cultivating a 'Heartful' narrative that explores the buddhist tenets mentioned above.

It all just feels like cold discipline to me at the moment and nothing more.

Please help me understand what mindfulness may look like in the context of heartfulness.

5 Answers 5

1

It may be useful to read the Mettāsahagatasutta, whose title has been translated as "Full of Love". In the west, "love" and "heart" are closely associated. And in this sutta, we see that the focus of meditation is not just the being on the cushion. It is much much more.

SN46.54:12.1: And how is the heart’s release by love developed? What is its destination, apex, fruit, and end?
SN46.54:12.2: It’s when a mendicant develops the heart’s release by love together with the awakening factors of mindfulness, investigation of principles, energy, rapture, tranquility, immersion,
SN46.54:12.3: and equanimity, which rely on seclusion, fading away, and cessation, and ripen as letting go.
SN46.54:12.4: If they wish: ‘May I meditate perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ that’s what they do.
SN46.54:12.5: If they wish: ‘May I meditate perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive,’ that’s what they do.
SN46.54:12.6: If they wish: ‘May I meditate perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive and the repulsive,’ that’s what they do.
SN46.54:12.7: If they wish: ‘May I meditate perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive and the unrepulsive,’ that’s what they do.
SN46.54:12.8: If they wish: ‘May I meditate staying equanimous, mindful and aware, rejecting both the repulsive and the unrepulsive,’ that’s what they do.

An open heart is not a cold heart locked into stillness. It is an open heart without walls. As the heart opens, a beautiful clarity emerges as walls dissolve.

SN46.54:12.9: The apex of the heart’s release by love is the beautiful, I say, for a mendicant who has not penetrated to a higher freedom.

The sutta continues with the further releases of the heart: compassion, rejoicing and equanimity. In all of these, there is, without limitation, an open mindfulness of the infinite expanse of heart.

In that very stillness you have found, open your heart to all around, beyond the cushion, beyond the room, beyond the city and on. Be mindful of your heart and open it. Don't still your heart into coldness. Open and release that heart into the beautiful and beyond.

0

One of the difficulties with how Buddhism is moulded is that one brings with them a conditioned message from society that one is not perfect. Once within the confines of Buddism, that message prevails and takes on the form of spirituality; hence, it is the same troubled message but it now wears drag, with lipstick and huge earrings. In other words, it looks a little more prettier, but it's the same damn message: "You're not perfect, yet!"

Ask yourself, why must you need to feel a particular way? You would do far better to address what you perceive to be imperfect about yourself rather than covering those things up with silly fabricated feelings called "warmth" and what not.

Having said that, there is a particular kind of person that this approach might be helpful towards, but you'd have to be pretty far gone, neurotically, to appreciate the practice in that way. Most people have the ability to look directly at what they perceive to be imperfect and question the validity of their perceptions, assumptions, beliefs and ideas.

By and large, this won't make you anywhere near perfect, and trying to mould yourself into the idea of a perfect Buddhist will cause more issues; you can only remove enough conditioning to just not give a shit about the rest of it.

0

Jon Kabat Zinn explains that Mindfulness [sati] in Asia means 'Heartfulness'

  • That's Jon's definition of 'mindfulness', not the Buddha's.

  • Basic function and Pre-buddhist meaning of 'sati': High level of proficiency in memorizing and 'remembering' what was done and said from long ago (SN 48.9 sati-indriya).

  • The Buddha's definition of sati incorporates the above, but imbues it with a very specific function. The mindfulness [of the Dharma]. The default value of 'Dharma', if context doesn't call for a more specific set of Dharma instructions, is the satipaṭṭhāna formula:

(Disclosure: My sutta translation and notes on 'sati') https://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/7sati/index.html

"Monks, what is right remembering [of ☸Dharma]?"

  1. He meditates continuously seeing the body as a body [as it actually is].
  2. He meditates continuously seeing sensations as sensations [as they actually are].
  3. He meditates continuously seeing the mind as a mind [as it actually is].
  4. He meditates continuously seeing ☸Dharma as ☸Dharma [as it actually is, the only way to nirvana].

[In all four modes of right remembering of ☸Dharma],

  • He is ardent 🏹, he has lucid discerning 👁, he remembers 🐘 [to apply relevant ☸Dharma],
  • vanquishing worldly avarice and distressed mental states.

"This, monks, is called right remembering [of ☸Dharma]."

0

It may be useful to read the Mettāsahagatasutta, whose title has been translated as "Full of Love". In the west, "love" and "heart" are closely associated. And in this sutta, we see that the focus of meditation is not just the being on the cushion. It is much much more.

It would be more useful to read a better translation of that sutta than Sujato's, who erroneously translates and interprets 'metta' as 'love'.

'metta' in the EBT (early buddhist teachings) is absolutely not 'love', which is an ambiguous modern word. In the EBT, the 4 brahmavihāras, of which metta belongs, is closely related to the word 'mitta' which means 'friend'. EBT 'metta' is a platonic, neighborly friendliness. It has no component of defiled lust and entangling attachments to objects of one's affection, which characterize the primary definitions of 'love'.

The pre-Buddhist meaning of 'metta' is uncertain. What we know for sure about it, is it leads to rebirth in the Brahma realms, genderless beings of highly developed virtue who have no interest in 'sex' and lust.

0

May be you can intertwine the practice of mindfulness and hurtfulness. in that sense Hearfuness is emotion part of mindfulness.

So how you can practice that. Whenever you get into Aha moment( Aha I was just thinking etc) .

What you typically do( In dry mindfulness practice) is Gently come back to meditation object. Instead now add a little emotion into it.

(1) Just smile, be joyful, be thankful of this grace by which you are able to notice . this aha moment.

(2) If you find aversion.. say sorry. Cultivate thoughts of mudita, metta, karuna to yourself or two the other person involved in your thinking.

(3)Even Joy (pamojj, pamudita) is considered important element of Jhana. So just smile, before you gently come back to meditation object.

Not only in case of 'aha' moment , but also you can frequently come back to inducing thoughts of Brahmvihara even when you are silent.

Thus you can add some moisture into the dry practice of mindfulness. and thus you can intertwine the practice of mindfulness and hurtfulness together.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .