Head, heart, belly

 

I am reminded of the three centers: head, heart and belly.

It’s a metaphor, of course, and at the same time close to immediate experience.

Inquiry and meditation (shikantaza, stable attention) tends to emphasize the head center. Prayer the heart. And wordless, felt and body-inclusive practices the belly.

And each set of these practices has their strengths and shortcomings.

To only do inquiry and meditation may give a great deal of insight. But it can also become quite “dry”, distanced, and perhaps a bit arrogant if not heart and belly are included.

To only pray or do other heart centered practices opens up for love, and yet it may miss some crucial insights and it may not be grounded very well in emotions and the body.

To only do belly related practices can give a depth of feeling and reorganization of emotions and body, and yet it may miss all as love and insights.

And this can be expanded to include relationship activities and a life in the world.

…………..

Said another way:

Without inquiry, basic assumptions may continue to be held as true. Without meditation, reality as awakeness (awareness) may not reveal itself to itself. Without heart, all may not reveal itself as love. Without belly, reality as “womb” may not reveal itself to itself.

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