Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Food for the Heart

Ajaan says:

There are two types of search in this world, but most people are set only on the search for money and possessions. This type of search is necessary; for anyone to live their life without making effort to obtain such things is not possible. But these things are a support only for the body. Whatever external things one obtains, this is all food only for the body. Most people make great effort to find this food for the body, but very few people put out effort to obtain food for the heart. Meditation practice is food for the heart.

Food for the body is something we need, but there is no one who, once they leave this world behind, can possibly take their possessions with them. Everyone will have to leave them behind. What we take with us, however, is food for the heart. It is this food for the heart that will lead us into the next life, lead us to heaven, lead us to God, lead us to freedom. For this reason, we must us all take medicine to feed our hearts; the medicine of the Fully-Enlightened Buddha.

The medicine of the Buddha that we need to take is of four kinds. When we take these four types of medicine, the disease in our heart, the defilements of greed, anger and delusion, will disappear.

The four medicines we must take are:

Kaaya: mindfulness of the body, walking "right goes thus", "left goes thus" and sitting, watching the stomach, "rising, falling".

Vedanaa: mindfulness of feelings, "pain", "happy" or "calm"

Citta: mindfulness of the mind, when thinking of the past, future, good or bad, as "thinking, thinking".

Dhamma: mindfulness of the phenomena laid out by the Buddha, starting with the five hindrances, "liking", "disliking", "drowsy", "distracted", "doubting".

This is food for the heart which we all must take.