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Impersonating the Heart

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2008-02-12
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Begin to learn the difference between the language of the mind and the language of the heart. Take the heart qualities of patience, compassion, kindness, and sincerity. As the mind captures these qualities and they percolate through the ego, they turn respectively to waiting, pity, niceness, and seriousness. The mind makes these into measurable quantities and judges how you are doing compared to others and your own self-image. Take a quality like patience this week and start wherever you are, perhaps as an impatient person trying to be patient. Notice whether the effort to be patient is addressing the problem or is more impatience with where you are. You have to release the measurement of time to find the heart of patience. To find patience, you have to release the “How am I doing?”, “How much longer do I have to be patient?” and the accompanying irritation. The heart qualities are not arising from and through someone, so the world is not being measured from oneself. Pity, the near enemy of compassion, is another example. Pity looks down from the safety of our own life, and says, “How awful. I am glad it is not me.” Go through a number of these heart qualities until you get a sense of how the mind distorts the heart.

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