In many Asian languages, including Pali, the language that Buddhist texts were originally recorded in, there is not a separate word for mind and heart.  Since 1999 I have been practicing a type of Buddhist meditation called Vipassana, also known as Insight meditation.  This style of meditation leads to a greater awareness of the content and the nature of the mind, but also to an opening of the heart.  The Buddha described Wisdom and Compassion as two wings of a bird, without the balance of the two, flight would unstable or impossible.

A few years ago, as a result of insights I was having in meditation practice, I began to become extremely interested in the core beliefs I had developed about myself and other people.  I began to examine these beliefs that were so pervasive that they had previously gone unseen.  I saw how much my perception of myself and the world were colored by these assumptions.  I also saw that these beliefs about myself were based on conditioning, and were not the truths of who I am.

Lately I have been expanding my spiritual practice and not feeling so focused on Buddhism.  My teacher advised me that spiritual practice should always be about making the unconscious conscious, and that’s what I continue to do!


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