Understanding ‘Chitta’ The Heart-Mind

In the short 3 minute video below, Lama Shenpen explains the meaning of ‘chitta’ – the ‘heart-mind’ – a integral term that also means the ‘essence of our being’. ‘Bodhicitta’ literally means our awakened heart-mind.

In Lama Shenpen’s distance learning course Discovering the Heart of Buddhism the course begins by discovering our experience of ‘heart’ and ‘mind’, the different connotations these words have and our subtle concepts and prejudices. In Buddhism, the heart-mind is one, but in the West there is a gulf between the two. We have to really work at connecting them together to understand the full meaning of chitta and Bodhichitta.

Lama Shenpen explains how important this is, because if chitta is translated as ‘mind’ it might give the impression that Buddhism is not about feelings or ‘matters of the heart’, and can attract people only looking for a philosophy to follow. If it is only translated as ‘heart’ then we might assume it has nothing to do with the mind and only concerns our feelings and emotions. Yet the term chitta compasses all this and more!

To find our more about Lama Shenpen’s experiential courses in meditation and Buddhism visit www.ahs.org.uk/training

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