Put Your Heart Into It Again: The Buddha on Discernment

This past year, after almost two years and two different cancer surgeries, one of the most important aspects of practice that I’ve found myself really needing to lean into has been the heart quality of aditthana, which in the Pali language of the Buddha means determination, or resolve.

As opposed to the act of “striving,” which involves a kind of unhealthy or stressful clinging to some sort of expectation, and typically arises from our more self-centered mind, or ego – the quality of aditthana almost always arises from the heart, as in, from our heart’s desire.

And because the heart is just naturally wise and compassionate, if we commit ourselves to following it, it will almost always lead us towards more joy, ease, and peace in our lives. 

As practitioners, we are asked to nurture this quality especially for starting, reviving, and even continuing a meditation practice, but the idea is that as we continue to develop it, we can then apply it to anything good or wholesome that we want to achieve for ourselves and for others. 

It’s such a vital quality in fact that the Buddha included it as part of ten crucial virtues of the heart – the paramis, or perfections – that we are urged to nurture and cultivate in order to reach enlightenment (or, if not enlightenment, at least more happiness and freedom in this lifetime.)

So, for this month’s talk, “Put Your Heart Into It Again: The Buddha on Determination,” I thought I’d explore this rich and powerful quality, and how we can use our meditation practice to not only establish it, but to more mindfully discern whether we’re been driven by our tricky minds, or by the much vaster space of our heart. 

It includes a meditation at the end. As always, I hope that it will serve. 

Also, a few important heads up!:

1) My team and I are thrilled to be headed back to the beautiful, serene Peterkin Retreat Center in Romney, WV this SEPT. 26-OCT. 2 for a new weeklong retreat, 5 Ways to Let Go: Releasing the Hindrances” – which fyi has been filling quickly!

Getting to know and investigate the five hindrances is one the most important and transformational aspects of our practice, and I’m so happy to be able to offer this to my students this year –I hope you can join us! 

2) The next daylong retreat on AUG. 17, “True to Your Heart, in The Plains is already more than half-full, so … you might want to save your spot! 

In the meantime, I’m sending many kind wishes, and my hopes to see you soon! 

~ Shell 🙏🏽💕😊