Bridge between Heart and Mind

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Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby Tanmart22 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:07 pm

Greetings all- this is my first topic here, and I hope I'm not being overly redundant or boring... feel free to redirect me if necessary.

So... the more I learn about Buddhism, and the more I put myself in the radius of the teachings, I realize that many of the Buddhist values are universal, and can be approached and understood by seekers everywhere, through intuition, wisdom, compassion, and a relentless pursuit of the truth.

The essence of the tradition, as evidenced by the life of the Buddha, is a rejection of false (established) practices, and putting the pursuit of truth above all else. The Buddha succeeded because he was able to break through the lies of the world.

This being said, I think the establishment and dissemination of the Buddha's teachings and the tradition of compassion and introspection that the Buddha's success has fostered is a jewel of humanity, and a beacon of light for seekers everywhere.

I feel like a big part of this tradition is bringing the rhythm of the heart and the panorama of the mind into synchrony.

This is where the practice of meditation becomes a useful tool, in calming the heart, clearing the mind, and introducing them to one another, almost for the first time.



My dilema (and potentially that of others) is that much of this synchrony depends on interest and support.

If I am doing something that I find to be truly interesting, or in an environment where I feel comfortable, wanted, needed, and accepted, my heart rate stabilizes and my mind lights up.

The problem is that I don't have control over this. So in a typical meditation situation, where I am sitting in a quiet room, focusing on the breath and trying to clear the mind, none of these positive mechanics are at work.

And the question arises, why should they be? I mean, you aren't doing anything, you're just sitting there, that's really nothing to feel good about. Don't get me wrong, I don't totally agree with this, but on a sub-conscious level, this is my tendency, I am realistic about this situation, and so it is decidedly uninspiring and uneventful.

Maybe that is the point... to immerse oneself in the mundane, and in that moment of focus, to see the magical.



Essentially, I think this is a key point of Buddhism. To be able to stabilize your heart and engage your mind, even when the environment is not terribly interesting or supportive. But I am having some trouble doing this.

So, help a new guy out.

Thanks.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby viniketa » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:13 pm

*duplicate post
Last edited by viniketa on Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby viniketa » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:15 pm

Tanmart22 wrote:I feel like a big part of this tradition is bringing the rhythm of the heart and the panorama of the mind into synchrony... Essentially, I think this is a key point of Buddhism. To be able to stabilize your heart and engage your mind, even when the environment is not terribly interesting or supportive.


In Śākyamuni Buddha's day, "heart" was considered the seat of "mind" (citta, Pali; cit, Sanskrit - see here). That's really not so different from the way we think about "heart & mind" today. The "physical" ties between the two clearly present a "feedback loop", such that something happening with either has immediate effect on the other. That "emotion" affects both is evident in our experience of emotion as "pangs in" or a loosening of our chest. So, yes, there is very much a "bridge" between heart and mind, it exists whether we "work on it" or not, but working on it is one approach to meditation. It is very important in the practice of yoga (see here).

Tanmart22 wrote:If I am doing something that I find to be truly interesting, or in an environment where I feel comfortable, wanted, needed, and accepted, my heart rate stabilizes and my mind lights up. The problem is that I don't have control over this. So in a typical meditation situation, where I am sitting in a quiet room, focusing on the breath and trying to clear the mind, none of these positive mechanics are at work. And the question arises, why should they be? I mean, you aren't doing anything, you're just sitting there, that's really nothing to feel good about.


Hmm, why does anything have to be "happening" in order for one to "feel good"? You are right, of course, this is a difficult part of practice and not at all the way we typically think about what is going on around us. Perhaps the fact that it is difficult is tied to the fact that this is an absolutely critical task to work upon in practice. So, the answer is: more practice. At the same time, you must work on understanding how your expectations about what is going on around you feed into your own thoughts and action (both heart and mind); including thoughts about "I expect this to feel good" or "I expect this to be really boring".

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby lobster » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:26 am

Tanmart22 wrote:So, help a new guy out.
Thanks.


enter the stream . . . perhaps . . .
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby Tanmart22 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:33 am

viniketa wrote:
Tanmart22 wrote:Hmm, why does anything have to be "happening" in order for one to "feel good"? You are right, of course, this is a difficult part of practice and not at all the way we typically think about what is going on around us. Perhaps the fact that it is difficult is tied to the fact that this is an absolutely critical task to work upon in practice. So, the answer is: more practice. At the same time, you must work on understanding how your expectations about what is going on around you feed into your own thoughts and action (both heart and mind); including thoughts about "I expect this to feel good" or "I expect this to be really boring".
:namaste:


Yes this is clearly the work, when we enter experiences without having a preconceived notion of what it should or even could be, we are more open to the reality of the experience, but even still, an accurate perception of nothing can make the nothing that much more unbearable. Consider this.


So basically what I am looking for are specifics, like instead of saying "more practice", elaborate, give a fledgling some bread and butter steps to betterment.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby Andrew108 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:02 am

Do you mean to say that heart rate and meditation are linked somehow? And that you want to have a low heart beat? I don't quite understand. Or is it that you feel something is lacking in your practice and heart rate shouldn't matter?
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby catmoon » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:26 am

count the breaths.

one in
one out
two in
two out


count to ten then start again at one.

watch each breath come and go.

When the mind is calm, you can stop counting.

When the mind becomes active, return to counting.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby Tanmart22 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:47 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Do you mean to say that heart rate and meditation are linked somehow? And that you want to have a low heart beat? I don't quite understand. Or is it that you feel something is lacking in your practice and heart rate shouldn't matter?


No I don't think you get it.

Basically, the link I am referring to, is a tie between the stimulation of the mind and the pulse of the heart.

When the mind is engaged, excited, feels immersed in a situation, it is active, in a very positive way, and the heart rate is in a medium tempo.

When the mind is bored or depressed, the heart rate is too slow, and then the mind is nervous or scared, the heart rate is too fast.



So... when we are dreaming, the heart rate is often in the medium desirable zone. The mind is deeply engaged in a pretty fascinating current of places, events, and characters, and the link between the mind and heart is strong.

This can happen when we are awake too, and it is every bit as blissful. Although unfortunately, for many humans, myself included, what often ends up happening is not this, but one extreme or the other. Often times we give in to boredom, feeling that the world is not as alive or interesting as it should be, and equally as often we give in to nervousness, feeling apprehensive about social and economic situations. I dream every night, and I have never encountered boredom or nervousness in a dream.



So, the WORK of the Buddhist, is to balance the mind, to give it a stable keel, and a wise hand at the rudder, so that when situations arise that could potentially push us into boredom or nervousness, we are able to stabilize the mind, and thus keep the heart in the happy medium tempo zone.


Simple, right? Of course. So my post here, is asking for advice, how do people stabilize the mind.

Hopefully we get some useful responses...
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby Tanmart22 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:49 pm

And really I have been seeking advice on this for some time, and have consulted other sources, and obviously I have heard the "just meditate - focus on (count) the breath)" line way too many times.


It's great but... let's really dive in, get some useful and engaging practices.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby Andrew108 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:13 pm

Sorry for not understanding. Hopefully someone here does. Best wishes.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby viniketa » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:48 am

Tanmart22 wrote:So, the WORK of the Buddhist, is to balance the mind, to give it a stable keel, and a wise hand at the rudder, so that when situations arise that could potentially push us into boredom or nervousness, we are able to stabilize the mind, and thus keep the heart in the happy medium tempo zone.


Simple, right? Of course. So my post here, is asking for advice, how do people stabilize the mind.


It seems that you are asking about specific meditation techniques. That question would be best posed in the Meditation forum: viewforum.php?f=45

Perhaps one of the moderators will be kind enough to move this thread there.

In practice, there are as many techniques as there are teachers and students. Typically, there are a few classifications of techniques discussed in relation to Buddhist meditation practice: śamatha, vipassana, and yogic. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive and each contain a variety of actual practices. What might be best for you depends a lot on your past practices and intention of practice. "Stabilizing the mind" is a short-term approach to a longer-term issue of understanding our intentions for action and working with those intentions.

Tanmart22 wrote:...an accurate perception of nothing can make the nothing that much more unbearable. Consider this.


Here, there seems to be a misconception about what meditation entails, but I could simply be misreading what you are attempting to communicate. There is no practice of which I am aware in which one meditates on "nothing"; such a meditation is not possible. Especially starting out in single-pointed meditation (a common practice), one needs to choose a meditation "object" and focus concentration on the object. An "object" does not have to be a material item. Those counseling to count breath are actually saying "take breath as the object of concentration". If you prefer to concentrate on heartbeats, that is an acceptable object as well. I've have done that practice in the past. These are beginning steps, if one wishes to make a beginning.

However, in short, no one can give you advice if you do not have a clear intention for meditation.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby lobster » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:31 am

Facebook and twitter dharma is available on those media.

Where is your dharma blog? This will enable you to focus on the heart of your needs and see them for what they are . . .
Would you be better suited to New Age Buddhism for example? Perhaps you can provide an example of a practice that engages the two parts of your being?

Do you really just want us to entertain you? :juggling:
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby Tanmart22 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:43 pm

Yeah I mean, in reality what I am asking is pretty straightforward, and there is no need to cloud the thread by saying I'm not offering enough information, or saying I just want to be entertained.......


My question is not a meditation question, although types of mediation may be part of the remedy, but I would certainly hope it extends beyond that. It is a matter of perspective and an approach to life as it is happening.

The entire mind is electrical, but only parts are visual, and sometimes the electricity is so widespread and intense that the visual parts of the mind take a backseat.
Although as we know, they never die, and they don't even really weaken, if we retain a certain commitment. But they become MASKED, and thus we have great difficulty in finding and using them.

All this relates to the tempo of the heart. When we are able to access the visual parts of our mind, our heart stabilizes, and when our heart stabilizes, we have an easier time accessing the visual parts of our mind.


So... again, the work here is developing practices of regulating (at times attenuating, and other times expanding) the flow of electricity so our entire being becomes more stable from one moment to the next, and mentally we exist in more engaged state.


Please guys, I'm being super open and informative here, and I'm just genuinely looking for advice.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby viniketa » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:57 pm

Tanmart22 wrote:Please guys, I'm being super open and informative here, and I'm just genuinely looking for advice.


Tanmart22 - Several have attempted to answer and offer advice. You have rejected those offers as not helpful.

Either posters are deliberately misleading you or your question is not as open, informative, and clear as you think. Which is more likely?

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby catmoon » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:21 am

Tanmart22 wrote:And really I have been seeking advice on this for some time, and have consulted other sources, and obviously I have heard the "just meditate - focus on (count) the breath)" line way too many times.


It's great but... let's really dive in, get some useful and engaging practices.



Aaaaahhhhh..... you think there is something you can do with your mind to progress. This is sad. It means you must spend a long time pursuing esoteric practices, concocting theories, jumping from teacher to teacher until you exhaust this conviction. Some people spend years on this, most spend decades, some spend their entire lives on it.

Stillness. It all begins with stillness, the quiet mind.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby Tanmart22 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:46 am

OK, so essentially what you are saying is that stillness i.e. meditation is really the thing I should be doing, and other avenues are really not going to bear fruit?

By the way I am perfectly OK with meditation as a practice, but I don't think I am doing it correctly.

In general I am a quiet person, taking a good amount of time for self reflection, introspection, situational awareness, etc.

But when I try to actually meditate, i.e. sitting in stillness slowing the breath, my mind fades, and the vibrancy that I get whiffs of and am pursuing, it does not snap into focus, but it vanishes completely.

So in a sense I am left with an empty mind, but for me this is not a desirable state.

I would draw a distinction between my non-working version of meditation and something else that I would call fluid focus, where basically you are totally in synch with yourself, and you are not zombified, but living, engaged in the world, and yet there is no duality, no doubt, but your mind and heart are one cohesive unit. And becoming better acquainted with this state was sort of the point of me starting this thread, but maybe I am asking the wrong crowd. Maybe it is more along the lines of spirituality or humanity, all though to me these are core pillars of Buddhism.

So, I am fine with diverting and taking a different road, and I encourage you to elaborate upon your belief and to help me see things in a new light.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby lobster » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:42 am

most of us can not meditate
suffer from wooly thinking
prefer easy answers
want the confirmation of our :quoteunquote: insights :quoteunquote:

In short we are in a condition of dukkha rather than
'being in the zone' of mind / body / heart integration
of the realised. :heart:

So we wander and wonder, why can no one see our wonderful
inner nature.

If Buddhism is required. Buddhism too has requirements.

:zzz: in my dreams I am a Buddha :zzz: :buddha1:
and if no one one accepts my dreams as real I can always :tantrum:

Is there any hope for me? :rolleye:

:hi: maybe I will join the :alien: . . . m m m . . . not sure yet . . .
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby catmoon » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:00 am

Tanmart22 wrote:OK, so essentially what you are saying is that stillness i.e. meditation is really the thing I should be doing, and other avenues are really not going to bear fruit?


A practice that consists entirely of meditation won't work either. (I'm plagiarizing the Dalai Lama here.) What is needed is wisdom and compassion. Like the wings of a bird, you must have both the left wing and the right wing to fly. Wisdom comes from study and meditation. Compassion comes from meditation of the tong len or metta bhavana types, combined with actual practice in daily life. Step around the bug rather than on it. Reflect on the Buddha nature of passers-by. Like that. Smile at strangers.

By the way I am perfectly OK with meditation as a practice, but I don't think I am doing it correctly.

In general I am a quiet person, taking a good amount of time for self reflection, introspection, situational awareness, etc.

But when I try to actually meditate, i.e. sitting in stillness slowing the breath, my mind fades, and the vibrancy that I get whiffs of and am pursuing, it does not snap into focus, but it vanishes completely.

So in a sense I am left with an empty mind, but for me this is not a desirable state.


That's odd. You seem to be naturally built to be a meditator. Hmmm... you know, the breath as object of meditation is just one of the classical meditation objects, although today it is far and and away the most used. The others have sort of fallen by the wayside. I should probably mention that the heartbeat is not one of them, basically because you can initiate a heart attack if you dont know what you are doing quite well. I wonder if maybe you are a fire kasina kind of guy? Or an emptiness meditator type? There are also death meditations, you know corpses and all that, but if you get into lam rim meditations you get a pretty healthy dose of that anyhow. And there are earth kasinas and water kasinas and color kasinas....

I would draw a distinction between my non-working version of meditation and something else that I would call fluid focus, where basically you are totally in synch with yourself, and you are not zombified, but living, engaged in the world, and yet there is no duality, no doubt, but your mind and heart are one cohesive unit. And becoming better acquainted with this state was sort of the point of me starting this thread, but maybe I am asking the wrong crowd. Maybe it is more along the lines of spirituality or humanity, all though to me these are core pillars of Buddhism.

So, I am fine with diverting and taking a different road, and I encourage you to elaborate upon your belief and to help me see things in a new light.


Well, I've thrown a few things out there, run some flags up the pole so to speak. See anything there that resonates?
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby Andrew108 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:14 am

Tanmart22 wrote:OK, so essentially what you are saying is that stillness i.e. meditation is really the thing I should be doing, and other avenues are really not going to bear fruit?

By the way I am perfectly OK with meditation as a practice, but I don't think I am doing it correctly.

In general I am a quiet person, taking a good amount of time for self reflection, introspection, situational awareness, etc.

But when I try to actually meditate, i.e. sitting in stillness slowing the breath, my mind fades, and the vibrancy that I get whiffs of and am pursuing, it does not snap into focus, but it vanishes completely.

So in a sense I am left with an empty mind, but for me this is not a desirable state.

I would draw a distinction between my non-working version of meditation and something else that I would call fluid focus, where basically you are totally in synch with yourself, and you are not zombified, but living, engaged in the world, and yet there is no duality, no doubt, but your mind and heart are one cohesive unit. And becoming better acquainted with this state was sort of the point of me starting this thread, but maybe I am asking the wrong crowd. Maybe it is more along the lines of spirituality or humanity, all though to me these are core pillars of Buddhism.

So, I am fine with diverting and taking a different road, and I encourage you to elaborate upon your belief and to help me see things in a new light.

Well you need to ask a proper teacher. I don't think anyone here is qualified to guide you over the Internet. But anyhow what you are describing is vipashyana or your need for it. So you should study how to bring the Buddhist view into your experience. For that you need a teacher. So you find a teacher and say that you have been practicing meditation and now you are interested in going further into understanding Buddhist philosophy. You want to work with a teacher who can introduce you to the Buddhist view and with that you will understand the role of meditation and you will be able to meditate properly. So you certainly don't need anymore techniques just a bit of knowledge and exposure to the wisdom of a teacher. Hope this helps.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Bridge between Heart and Mind

Postby Tanmart22 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:49 pm

THANK YOU i really appreciate these last few replies.... yes I do need a teacher...
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