Are you using your head or the heart?

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Are you using your head or the heart?

Post by SarathW »

Are you using your head or the heart?

My sister always complain that I am working from my head not from the heart.
The reason is I am not prepared move with her emotional issues.

It appears Bhante Punnaji talk about the same subject. (counter 50)
He says we should not work from our emotional mind (heart) but from our thinking (head) mind.
He says we come to the temple and take the five precepts (thinking mind or head) and go home and break the precepts. (emotional mind or heart)

Thinking mind and emotional mind; Is this something Buddha taught?
Or Buddha talk from his head or heart?

See also page 12 of the following link. ... dhdmc/edit
Last edited by SarathW on Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Mr Man
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Re: Are you using your head or the heart?

Post by Mr Man »

And as a contrast (from Ajahn Sumedho) -
Here in Britain, we believe that thinking rationally and being reasonable is right. Everything that follows from that, we think is right, and everything that is irrational or unreasonable, we think is wrong. We don't trust it. But when we attach to reason, then we often lack patience, because we are not open to the movement and flow of emotion. The spaciousness of life is completely overlooked. We are so attached to time, efficiency, the quickness of thought, the perfection of rational thinking, that we view temporal conditions as reality, and we no longer notice spaciousness. So the emotional nature, the feeling, the intuitive, the psychic, all are dismissed, neglected, and annihilated.
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Re: Are you using your head or the heart?

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw »

I think its reasonable to say that he didnt differentiate between the two in the context of 5 Aggregates or Satipatthana, however he did define parts of what you may be referring to as "Thinking mind" in isolation as the faculty of wisdom and discernment. In a context of one who is said to be thinking with his **** rather than his big head, it can be said imo that thinking with big head is thoughts rooted in wisdom/discernment and thinking with the other head is thinking rooted in craving, perversion of view (Vipallasa), Kilesa root Delusion. ... html#ch1.5
"Wisdom is based on concentration, because of the saying: 'One who is concentrated knows, sees what really is.'"[11] Is concentration then an indispensable pre-condition of wisdom? The answer lies in distinguishing three stages of wisdom, according to whether it operates on the level of: (1) learning about what tradition has to say concerning the psychological and ontological categories which form the subject-matter of wisdom; (2) discursive reflection on the basic facts of life; and (3) meditational development.[12] The third alone requires the aid of transic concentration,[13] whereas without it there can be proficiency in the first two. And the wisdom which consists of learning and reflection should not be despised.
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Re: Are you using your head or the heart?

Post by Dhammanando »

SarathW wrote:Thinking mind and emotional mind; Is this something Buddha taught?
In its current form the head vs. heart distinction has its source in post-romantic European folk psychology (i.e. “a psychological theory constituted by the platitudes about the mind that ordinary people are inclined to endorse”, link). That being so, one wouldn’t expect the Buddha to have had any recourse to it. But if any such a distinction had existed in his day, I should think he would have rejected it as an insufficiently analytical approach to describing perceptual, conative and moral experience.
SarathW wrote:Or Buddha talk from his head or heart?
From karuṇā and paññā.
  • Through his wisdom the bodhisattva perfects within himself the character of a Buddha, through his compassion the ability to perform the work of a Buddha. Through wisdom he brings himself across (the stream of becoming), through compassion he leads others across. Through wisdom he understands the suffering of others, through compassion he strives to alleviate their suffering. Through wisdom he becomes disenchanted with suffering, through compassion he accepts suffering. Through wisdom he aspires for nibbāna, through compassion he remains in the round of existence. Through compassion he enters saṃsāra, through wisdom he does not delight in it. Through wisdom he destroys all attachments, but because his wisdom is accompanied by compassion he never desists from activity that benefits others. Through compassion he shakes with sympathy for all, but because his compassion is accompanied by wisdom his mind is unattached. Through wisdom he is free from "I-making" and "mine-making," through compassion he is free from lethargy and depression.

    So too, through wisdom and compassion respectively, he becomes his own protector and the protector of others, a sage and a hero, one who does not torment himself and one who does not torment others, one who promotes his own welfare and the welfare of others, fearless and a giver of fearlessness, dominated by consideration for the Dhamma and by consideration for the world, grateful for favors done and forward in doing favors for others, devoid of delusion and devoid of craving, accomplished in knowledge and accomplished in conduct, possessed of the powers and possessed of the grounds of self-confidence.

    (Dhammapāla, Cariyāpiṭaka Atthakathā)
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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Kim OHara
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Re: Are you using your head or the heart?

Post by Kim OHara »


In my first Buddhist meditation course, we were taught about the symbolism of the meditation posture. In particular, one hand was supposed to represent wisdom and the other, compassion - and one supported the other. That made a lot of sense to me and I have (obviously) remembered it ever since. However, saying that wisdom supported compassion or that compassion supported wisdom seem equally valid to me so I have forgotten which was which. :embarassed:

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