July 26, 2010

Head and Heart Together

Today’s Daily Dharma:

All too often, meditators believe that if they can simply add a little more heart juice, a little more emotional oomph, to their brahma-vihara practice, their attitudes can become limitless. But if something inside you keeps churning up reasons for liking this person or hating that one, your practice starts feeling hypocritical. You wonder who you’re trying to fool. Or, after a month devoted to the practice, you still find yourself thinking black thoughts about people who cut you off in traffic—to say nothing of people who’ve done the world serious harm.

This is where the head comes in. If we think of the heart as the side of the mind that wants happiness, the head is the side that understands how cause and effect actually work. If your head and heart can learn to cooperate—that is, if your head can give priority to finding the causes for true happiness, and your heart can learn to embrace those causes—then the training of the mind can go far.

-Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Head & Heart Together (Summer 2009)

Read the complete article here.

Image: ©Tiina Tervo/Millennium Images

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