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Birthing the Heart: Living the Truth

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2015-03-17
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Most of us are tired of hearing loud and often confrontational religious teaching where the minister is emphatically expressing an opinion. How is the minister living his/her teaching in that moment, we might ask? Where is the living Christ within the philosophy espoused? It seems to me that it is time we stopped shouting and began manifesting. We are only as spiritually developed as our actions indicate. Recently someone asked, “I have been practicing for many years. I am older and people are now dying all around me. How has the practice prepared me for this?” I asked her what she had been doing in her practice all these years, and she said, “Watching my mind.” I asked if she had noticed how her mind was in constant movement and that everything around her was on its way toward becoming something else. I suggested she might want to live in accordance with that movement by keeping her mind malleable and unfixed. If she did that, I continued, she would understand where death fits in with her practice and begin to rest more comfortably within these inevitable transitions. The way to live the teachings is to bring the philosophy of the practice forward into our daily actions. We all know that conceptualizing reality breeds a false sense of control and ultimately our resistance and suffering arise from that perspective, but how many of us are willing to live that truth by questioning and releasing our thoughts throughout the day? Do we live what we know to be true? Embodiment means acting from the truth and conceding our lives toward that end.


Insight without action is disembodied and conceptual. When you have an insight into an old problem, write down the new behavior(s) that are necessary for embodiment. Suppose for instance you see yourself unable to say, “no” to an invitation and you sense behind that reluctance is a need to please. Once you observed the pain behind the need to please, you may want to change your behavior. Now practice saying, “no.” This is harder than you might suspect because the painful conditioning is embedded within both the body and the mind and both need to be extinguished. Only through repeated action will the body relinquish its conditioning.


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