The citta as a permanent self?

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Mkoll
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Mkoll » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:25 am

Just for fun ;)

"language"
Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols.


"word"
A sound or a combination of sounds, or its representation in writing or printing, that symbolizes and communicates a meaning and may consist of a single morpheme or of a combination of morphemes.


"sound"
Vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas, with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being detected by human organs of hearing.


"Wittgenstein's Beetle in a Box"
Another point that Wittgenstein makes against the possibility of a private language involves the beetle-in-a-box thought experiment. He asks the reader to imagine that each person has a box, inside of which is something that everyone intends to refer to with the word "beetle". Further, suppose that no one can look inside another's box, and each claims to know what a "beetle" is only by examining their own box. Wittgenstein suggests that, in such a situation, the word "beetle" could not be the name of a thing, because supposing that each person has something completely different in their boxes (or nothing at all) does not change the meaning of the word; the beetle as a private object "drops out of consideration as irrelevant". Thus, Wittgenstein argues, if we can talk about something, then it is not private, in the sense considered. And, contrapositively, if we consider something to be indeed private, it follows that we cannot talk about it.


:jumping:
Peace,
James

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby dhammapal » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:37 am

Jon. S wrote:As I understand it, Luangta Maha Boowa teaches that the citta or heart/mind is the only thing that moves from life to life. But is this not contradicting to the teaching of anatta that includes the mind?

I'm a little confused with this point, if someone could clarify I would be very grateful. :namaste:

See the Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta

With metta / dhammapal.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Jetavan » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:54 pm

Jon. S wrote:As I understand it, Luangta Maha Boowa teaches that the citta or heart/mind is the only thing that moves from life to life.

Is citta is a "thing"?

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby JeffR » Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:54 pm

Jetavan wrote:
Jon. S wrote:As I understand it, Luangta Maha Boowa teaches that the citta or heart/mind is the only thing that moves from life to life.

Is citta is a "thing"?

No.
Which is why it doesn't contradict the teachings of anatta.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby now realm » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:21 pm

Hi there, If I'm not mistaken, according to the pali suttas, it says citta is the mind, the luminous mind and so it's not a permanent self or a soul per se. Could citta be the mind that is aware or perceive all experiences? Some called it awareness or presence or witness or obsserver etc. I think it is the mind that perceives and is aware, therefore, in this sense, it literally doesn't die. I think I can agree with maha boowa in his explanation on citta. Grateful for any thought on this.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby culaavuso » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:28 pm

now realm wrote:Could citta be the mind that is aware or perceive all experiences? Some called it awareness or presence or witness or obsserver etc. I think it is the mind that perceives and is aware, therefore, in this sense, it literally doesn't die.


Would this imply that it is citta that makes contact?

SN 12.12: Moḷiyaphagguna Sutta wrote:"Lord, who makes contact?"

"Not a valid question," the Blessed One said. "I don't say 'makes contact.' If I were to say 'makes contact,' then 'Who makes contact?' would be a valid question. But I don't say that. When I don't say that, the valid question is 'From what as a requisite condition comes contact?' And the valid answer is, 'From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.'"

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby daverupa » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:00 pm

Citta is the thing to be understood & trained & liberated, and one can read AN 10.51 to see examples of what mindfulness of it should look like. It seems to contain 'mood', 'personality', 'character', 'attitude', and other similar aspects of mind that point toward 'propensity', 'tendency'.

I tend to think of it as 'habitual velocity'.

It's definitely not permanent, for the same reason that vinnana is not - being conditioned, we know to expect conditional rise and fall.

Citta-contemplation is 1/4 of satipatthana.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:40 pm

daverupa wrote:Citta is the thing to be understood & trained & liberated, and one can read AN 10.51 to see examples of what mindfulness of it should look like. It seems to contain 'mood', 'personality', 'character', 'attitude', and other similar aspects of mind that point toward 'propensity', 'tendency'.

I tend to think of it as 'habitual velocity'.

It's definitely not permanent, for the same reason that vinnana is not - being conditioned, we know to expect conditional rise and fall.

Citta-contemplation is 1/4 of satipatthana.

Agreed. Reminds me of this sutta.

SN 35.93 wrote:Bhikkhus, consciousness comes to be in dependence on a dyad. And how, bhikkhus, does consciousness come to be in dependence on a dyad? In dependence on the eye and forms there arises eye-consciousness. The eye is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise; forms are impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Thus this dyad is moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.

“Eye-consciousness is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of eye-consciousness is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, eye-consciousness has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“The meeting, the encounter, the concurrence of these three things is called eye-contact. Eye-contact too is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of eye-contact is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, eye-contact has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“Contacted, bhikkhus, one feels, contacted one intends, contacted one perceives. Thus these things too are moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.

“In dependence on the ear and sounds there arises ear-consciousness … … In dependence on the mind and mental phenomena there arises mind-consciousness. The mind is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise; mental phenomena are impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Thus this dyad is moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.

“Mind-consciousness is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of mind-consciousness is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, mind-consciousness has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“The meeting, the encounter, the concurrence of these three things is called mind-contact. Mind-contact too is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of mind-contact is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, mind-contact has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“Contacted, bhikkhus, one feels, contacted one intends, contacted one perceives. Thus these things too are moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.

“It is in such a way, bhikkhus, that consciousness comes to be in dependence on a dyad.”
Peace,
James

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby manas » Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:40 am

Even just the statement, "I changed my mind" seems to imply that the mind could not be self, if it can be changed like that.


But I think that to then focus on "I must have no self at all, then!" is to still miss the point, the point being (as this simple-minded person understands it) to see suffering, it's cause, it's cessation, and the path leading to it's cessation, rather than to be obsessed with 'existence' or 'non-existence'.

Yes? No?

:anjali:

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby now realm » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:30 am

I'm still trying to explore here with the hope to have a clear picture of citta. I came across pali suttas like pabhasuttam obha suttam abhasasuttam and if not mistaken, all described citta as radiant bright luminous and there are four types of brightness and it stated the brightest is panna i.e. wisdom or discernment and right understanding as some interpreted panna. Based on these suttas, it seems to me like citta is the "wise mind" or consciousness that has discerning awareness and understanding. It seems like it can be defiled and undefiled depending on our wisdom or discernment. To me, I understand phassa or contact as an experience, and citta seems to me like an awareness or consciousness of all mental and physical experiences. Vinnana is often interpreted as consciousness but it looks to me as more of a recognition or cognition aspect of the mind. With vinnana as the condition comes nama rupa. I'm not sure of this and I know it is controversial.. but to me I understand citta as more of a consciousness or awareness that is awake and conscious with the potential of right understanding or wisdom which would lead us to liberation. "mind" is interpreted as vedana sanna sankhara vinnana. No citta vinnana mentioned but there is mano vinnana mentoned in the so called "mind". However, citta is not metaphysical but a luminosity or brightness that comes with right understanding or panna. l think it differs from what the non duality described an Absolute, a Soul or Self, an Infinite or Universal Consciousness or God, Father, Brahman or Atta. Citta feels like as if there is a soul but it is more of an awakeness or consciousness. I've a feeling they might all be pointing to this citta, where I think it is in citta that we are able to be liberated or gain gnosis. Hopefully my argument is not too confusing and controversial but I need some kind of assurance or confirmation on this understanding of citta through this group discussion and drawing from some of your knowledge and meditation on this topic. Much gratitude.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby now realm » Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:47 pm

Hi again, someone here posted above an excerpt by ajahn sumedho that I overlooked reading earlier. I think ajan sumedho explained it very well and easy to understand. I agree with what ajahn sumedho wrote about awareness. This is exactly the awareness that I meant but I'm not sure if he was referring to citta as he used only the term awareness. I hope it was citta that he was referring to , so as to clear my conception of citta. maha boowa said citta never dies in the sense that the citta is not an experience that arises persists subsides and as such is free from the 3 characteristic of anicca dukkha anatta, but more so of being aware of experiences or literally "experiencing" all experiences or detached awareness of all phenomena. Like he said it is not nibbana. Grateful for the posting.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:21 pm

Ajahn Chah:

Actually, in practicing the Dhamma, whatever happens, you have to start
from the mind. Begin with the mind. Do you know what your mind is? What is
your mind like? Where is it? You’re all speechless. Where the mind is, what it’s
like, nobody knows. [Laughs] You don’t know anything about it at all. You don’t
know. All you know is that you want to go over here or over there, the mind
feels happy or sad, but the mind itself you can’t know. What is the mind? The
mind isn’t “is” anything. What would it “is”? We’ve come up with the supposition
that whatever receives preoccupations—good preoccupations, bad
preoccupations, whatever—we call “heart” or “mind.” Like the owner of a
house: Whoever receives the guests is the owner of the house. The guests can’t
receive the owner. The owner has to stay put at home. When guests come to see
him, he has to receive them. So who receives preoccupations? Who lets go of
preoccupations? Who knows anything? [Laughs] That’s what we call “mind.” But
we don’t understand it, so we talk, veering off course this way and that: “What is
the mind? What is the heart?” We get things way too confused. Don’t analyze it
so much. What is it that receives preoccupations? Some preoccupations don’t
satisfy it, and so it doesn’t like them. Some preoccupations it likes and some it
doesn’t. Who is that—who likes and doesn’t like? Is there something there? Yes.
What’s it like? We don’t know. Understand? That thing… That thing is what we
call the “mind.” Don’t go looking far away.

Some people have to keep thinking: “What is the mind? What is the heart?”—
all kinds of things, keeping at it, back and forth until they go crazy. They don’t
understand anything. You don’t have to think that far. Simply ask yourself,
“What do you have in yourself?” There are rupa and nama; or there’s a body and
there’s a mind. That’s enough.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... r_sure.pdf
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby now realm » Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:55 am

Hi again, grateful for the above passage. To me, I find it is important to know the difference and to cross reference with the pali term when reading the english suttas translated from pali suttas to clearly understand what budddha says and his teaching. We can't help it as Buddha uses precise term like citta and mano a lot in thee pali suttas but in english they're translated as mind. I think I can come to my own conclusion that "citta" is the discerning mind that understand things as they really are after reading pabhassara sutta. Wheareas, mano is the thoughts mind to think or thanisssaro used intellect. I can understand now vinnaya which is consciousness like ear consciousness or the six sense bases and it must have "contact" i.e. phassa. Thus, citta is the mind that is to be cultivated to have right understanding i.e. panna or discernment since it is a discerning mind to see reality and hence gain liberation through this knowing and seeing reality. Awareness is sati sampajjana as what ajahn sumedho uses which is correct. I think it is awareness that is aware of all experiences but it is the ciitta that discerns or seeing things as they really are or some called it insight. I think it is sati sampajjana that the non duality guys are talking about and called them "Awareness" or Self, Presence, Power of Now etc etc. To the Buddha, I think it is sati sampajjana. It's quite clear to me now with the pali terms. Pali is important when reading the suttas otherwise it's very hard to discern what the term "mind" is in the english translation. However, this is my own understanding so far and is subject to further confirmation, please do not take my word for it. Humble gratitude.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby now realm » Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:40 am

Hi again, I just realized this and I need to correct myself and clarify on sati sampajjanna. The sati sampajjanna that the Buddha taught and what Ajahn Sumedho meant is, mindful comprehension as the name implies, which is different from the awareness practiced in non duality. In non duality, one views all experiences that arise in the mind as a separate self and one is like a witness or observer of this separate self and the observer is believed to be infinite, whereas, in sati sampajjanna it is what the name implies where one is mindful and comprehend all experiences that arise in the mind with no notion of separation. Hope my clarification is correct and makes sense, subject to one's own verification. Much gratitude.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Bakmoon » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:46 am

now realm wrote:Hi again, grateful for the above passage. To me, I find it is important to know the difference and to cross reference with the pali term when reading the english suttas translated from pali suttas to clearly understand what budddha says and his teaching. We can't help it as Buddha uses precise term like citta and mano a lot in thee pali suttas but in english they're translated as mind. I think I can come to my own conclusion that "citta" is the discerning mind that understand things as they really are after reading pabhassara sutta. Wheareas, mano is the thoughts mind to think or thanisssaro used intellect. I can understand now vinnaya which is consciousness like ear consciousness or the six sense bases and it must have "contact" i.e. phassa. Thus, citta is the mind that is to be cultivated to have right understanding i.e. panna or discernment since it is a discerning mind to see reality and hence gain liberation through this knowing and seeing reality. Awareness is sati sampajjana as what ajahn sumedho uses which is correct. I think it is awareness that is aware of all experiences but it is the ciitta that discerns or seeing things as they really are or some called it insight. I think it is sati sampajjana that the non duality guys are talking about and called them "Awareness" or Self, Presence, Power of Now etc etc. To the Buddha, I think it is sati sampajjana. It's quite clear to me now with the pali terms. Pali is important when reading the suttas otherwise it's very hard to discern what the term "mind" is in the english translation. However, this is my own understanding so far and is subject to further confirmation, please do not take my word for it. Humble gratitude.


Well, there are places in these different terms for mind are treated as synonyms. For example, in the Brahmajala Sutta the Buddha says:
"Herein, bhikkhus, recluse or a certain brahmin is a rationalist, an investigator. He declares his view — hammered out by reason, deduced from his investigations, following his own flight of thought — thus: 'That which is called "the eye," "the ear," "the nose," "the tongue," and "the body" — that self is impermanent, unstable, non-eternal, subject to change. But that which is called "mind" (citta) or "mentality" (mano) or "consciousness" (viññāṇa) — that self is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and it will remain the same just like eternity itself.'
(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html)


I think they all mean the same thing but each have a different kind of emphasis, and so are used in different contexts but that's just my understanding.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby now realm » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:55 pm

Thank you for above. Very interesting sutta. I guess it is Mother of all suttas for its length and depth. I think it is true that citta is "mind". If not mistaken, mano or intellect is classified as one of the 6 senses whereas vinnana or consciousness is one of the 5 aggregates or khandhas. There is another vinnana or consciouness which is one of the 6 elements or dhatu as in space,wind, fire,liquid,earth. However, it is interesting to note in dhammapada verse 1 where mano is mention not citta. It's true, mano citta and vinnna are all impermanent, according to Buddha. Hope I didn't contribute to more confusion here. Anyway, grateful for this.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby now realm » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:48 am

Hi again, I just like to reiterate here that citta is a reality and citta is luminous as what Buddha discovered and as per the pabbhassara sutta, where Buddha says pabbhassara bhikkhave citta. I don't think that sutta is corrupted. There is a "mind" and citta is the "mind" and many believed that only humans can be liberated from samsara as only humans have cittas, whereas other beings including devas have only consciousness i.e vinnaya of the six senses i.e. eye ear nose tongue body mano. I can now understand why many people claim to see luminous light or see heavenly beings and extraordinary colors on Near death experience i.e. NDE or OBD as their six senses and aggregates shut down so to speak and the citta is left. So that could be the reason for seeing light or brightness as Buddha said luminous is citta. That explains why Buddha could know both worlds and the entire universe or the "other shore" without space and time i.e.non linear. That could be why the dhamma is also timeless per se.This is my own conjecture and my own understanding and interpretation from reading the pali canon suttas and listening to many online dhamma and NDE videos.This could be it. It is citta that knows and sees reality, past lives etc etc. Right now we are in samsara or kama loka a linear world bound by 6 senses and in this sense an illusionary world. Hope making sense. I'm here merely sharing my intellectual understanding of citta and Buddha's enlightenment. Praise Lord Buddha *bow* with awe n gratitude.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:23 am

See this discussion of the "Radiant Mind":
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=22134
Most commentators have interpreted the "Radiant/luminous mind" to be a mind in jhana.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby culaavuso » Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:30 am

now realm wrote:It is citta that knows and sees reality, past lives etc etc. Right now we are in samsara or kama loka a linear world bound by 6 senses and in this sense an illusionary world.


SN 12.61 states that it would be better to consider the body of the four great elements (i.e., form) to be the self than to consider the mind (citta) to be the self. Since other suttas appear to state rather clearly that this body of the four great elements is not the self, this statement in SN 12.61 seems to suggest that taking the mind (citta) to be the self creates more stress and suffering than the wrong view that the body is the self.

SN 12.61: Assutavantu Sutta wrote:But as for what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness,' the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it. Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.' Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.

It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.


SN 22.57: Sattaṭṭhāna Sutta wrote:And what is form? The four great existents [the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property] and the form derived from them: this is called form.


SN 22.59: Pañcavaggiya Sutta wrote:Form, monks, is not self. If form were the self, this form would not lend itself to dis-ease. It would be possible [to say] with regard to form, 'Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.' But precisely because form is not self, form lends itself to dis-ease. And it is not possible [to say] with regard to form, 'Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.'

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby now realm » Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:30 am

Above is an excellent sutta. I'm with you that citta is not a self just as with everything that has the characteristc of anicca, cannot be regarded as a self anatta. Probably, my phrase above 'that only citta is left' could be easily misinterpreted as a metaphysical self. I think citta is our intrinsic faculty or nature of human beings to discern greed hatred delusion. However, I think our citta has been defiled by our six senses which include mano, but that's just my understanding.

As for the radiance in jhana, I'm afraid I don't know enough to comment as there are many jhanas taught by different teachers where some based on the abhidhamma, which I know next to nothing. I only understand the 4 jhanas in the pali canon suttas to be a state of purity of equanimity-mindfulness as in the pali term upekkhasatiparisuddhim which is nether pleasant nor pain leading to calmness upasampajja i.e. calm. I think it is a state or being of calm comprehension as the word implies 'upasampajja' which has the root word sampajjana and upa. I understand it as in a state where one does not lust or averse i.e. equanimous with total comprehensive calmnesss or clear discernment which is unaffected by sukhaddukkha which is a quality or prerequisite for wisdom panna and liberation by knowledge nanavimutti. Anyway, it's just my humble understanding on 4 jhanas in the pali canon. Please feel free to correct me. It's interesting to note that there's no citta or citte or pabbhassara mentioned in pali in the 4 jhanas. For me, I find the English translation becomes clearer after referring the meaning with the pali word. For me, Pali is a crucial foundation in my understanding of the Buddha's teachings and its application in meditation. So much for citta. *namaste*


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