On this episode of the Insight Hour, Joseph explores the awakened heartmind known as bodhicitta.
Bodhicitta: The Awakened Heartmind (Opening) – In Pali the word bodhicitta is used to describe the awakening of the heart/mind. Joseph examines this quality of compassion and how to cultivate it in our practice.
“Literally we can translate bodhicitta as the heart/mind (citta) of awakening (bodhi). On the relative level bodhicitta refers to compassion. Particularly to the aspiration that we are not practicing for ourselves alone, but that we can practice with the aspiration that our own awakening be for the benefit of all beings.”
Empty Nature of Mind (5:05) – On a more ultimate level Bodhicitta refers to the empty nature of the mind itself. Joseph discusses the challenge of integrating the wisdom of emptiness into compassionate responsiveness. He explores the possibility of living in the realization of emptiness while also still existing in our conventional reality.
Experiencing Emptiness (15:10) – Without experience, an emptiness of mind can be difficult to conceptualize. Joseph points to several ways in which we are able to experience this empty nature of the mind.
“We experience emptiness in terms of flow, we get into a flow state. We experience emptiness, sometimes, in the presence of a great teacher. We experience the meaning of emptiness when we realize that things are ungovernable by our own will; there is no self that is controlling the world.”
Natural Radiance (35:10) – The mind is intrinsically empty, but it is more than just empty. Joseph explores the naturally radiant awareness of the mind.
“The mind is not just empty space. It has this quality of knowing and awareness. This nature of mind, the union of emptiness and awareness, is not something we have to get. This is the nature of mind, it is something we need to recognize and get back to.”
Ceaselessly Responsive (45:50) – In the open and empty awareness, there is a natural and spontaneous compassionate response to the world. With Joseph, we examine the many ways in which this spontaneous response shows itself in our lives.
For more conversation on bodhicitta and the awakened heartmind, check out this episode of the Mindrollling podcast with special guest Roshi Joan Halifax.