The body's like a ball of foam
and feeling is like a bubble;
perception is like a mirage,
formations like pithless trees
and consciousness is like a trick
No essence is discovered here.
S 22:95 (Pali Canon)
"...the mind's nature is inherently radiant. Its brightness is not something that we have to produce, rather it is the intrinsic nature of mind, the citta." - Ajahn Amaro in Silent Rain
"See the five aggregates to be empty of nature. Emptiness is form. Form is emptiness. Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness. In the same way feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness are emptiness." - Heart Sutra
Citta 101 is a support for sanghas, for sangha leaders and for committed practitioners. Our focus is on life experience as meditation. We understand this fullness of experience to be the most fundamental skill in sharing the Dharma.
The Philosophy/The Dharma
When we understand experientially the truth of insubstantiality, we can open to the radiance of life, a radiance that is not separate from the mind, body, or heart, but includes everything and is a part of everything. We are then free. We can joyfully participate in the noble human task of becoming fully human, wise and compassionate without imposing our selves on the planet. We can participate in and foster a world we want to live in without becoming the problems we wish to solve.
Citta is a word in Pali that refers to consciousness, but consciousness in a broad sense, including all constituant parts of human experience. The work we offer is an exploration of the breadth and depth of the human experience, through investigation of our own minds and bodies, developing understanding and skill in living fully, and in deepening our personal contact with other[s], our interpersonal relating.
This exploration is based both in contemporary science and in early buddhist teachings, before Buddhism was considered a religion. It requires no allegiance to any religious tradition. The teachings and practice are compatible with any religious tradition - or no tradition at all. This work does require personal commitment and integrity, a willingness to take responsibility for every action, and also bears fruit in every investment we make. It is a foundation for richness in all our relationships, personal, professional, and planetary.
Founder, Mary Rees established this website in 1998. She has been teaching mindfulness and insight since 1989, integrating mindfulness into professional settings since 1985, and offering relational practice since 2001. She was active in establishing Insight Meditation Houston at its inception in 1988 when Rodney Smith left Houston, and was active in that group as long as Rodney was its Guiding Teacher (until 2001). During those year she maintained its first website; taught beginning courses; organized and managed several retreats a year, including ten day retreats; and initiated the effort to create a retreat center, the Margaret Austin Center.