Friday, 2 May 2008

Cure for Hard-Heartedness?

A homeopath I see observes in me a tendency towards hard-heartedness. I generally think that my heart was broken by events, but another way of looking at it is that I caused those events through hard-heartedness. Hummm.

Now, what was that that Master Nagarjuna said about righting hearts and minds? What is the practise through which the heart tends to mend?

Does anybody know a good teacher versed in the art of allowing the body to be upright?

FM Alexander and Alfred Tomatis might have been two such teachers, but they are no longer with us.

I have been taught by their proteges -- the likes of Marjory Barlow and Paul Madaule. I have been pointed in the direction of true sitting, speaking, and listening, using the head-neck-back relation, using the voice, using the ear. And yet still I have this pain, this apparent blockage, around my heart/stomach.

Let's hope the homeopathic remedy does the trick. If not, may I blame the homeopath, along with Barlow, Madaule, Alexander and Tomatis? May I blame Gudo, along with Dogen, Nagarjuna and Gautama?

Even if I don't blame all the others, it is very difficult for me not to blame Gudo, who so crudely pulled my chin back into my neck all those years ago, compounding the tendency I already had towards stubborn rigidity.


Mike Doe said...

Maybe you chose Gudo because he was stubbornly rigid - a reflection of some aspects of you. Maybe that made you feel comfortable. Maybe that validated you.

Gudo never flew to England, visited Aylesbury and said "Mike, one day you and I are going to work on the Shobogenzo, plesae come to Japan and study with me" or did he?

gniz said...

I found a cure for hard-heartedness, which was falling in love with a woman who loved me back and accepted me.

So many of the things that I tried to work through with meditation, it seems to me have truly been healed by a loving, warm relationship.

So mundane, it would seem. Not as glorious as enlightenment...

But the warmth and acceptance, for someone like me who spent my whole life feeling inadequate and defficient, has been enough to alleviate many things i tried unsuccessfully to alleviate through meditation...

this isnt to say i think meditation is useless. But it doesnt by any means cure everything, or maybe even most things, just my opinion.

voidengineering said...


Traditional Chinese Medicine alleviates blocked energy flow between energy centers in the body. The heart (area) passes energy to the stomach (area). An experienced TCM doctor might be able to help you out with acupuncture & herbs.

Best Wishes,

Mike Cross said...

Thank you for these comments.

Yes, mike doe, my quarter-centurty struggle with Gudo has been a struggle with a stubborn, rigid, self-righteous, know-it-all, control-freak, oldest-male-sibling tendency within myself.

I went to Japan and sought out Gudo. I got the teacher I deserved.

Gniz: The lifeblood of Bodhidharma is nothing but full lotus sitting. Why do you wish to introduce meditation into the discussion?

The homeopath who I see has helped me to see that hard-heartedness is a kind of pathological tendency -- not so much a thing to be worked through, just a pathological tendency. In Alexander work, similarly, I have been encouraged to think in terms of tendencies.

Hard-heartedness is one kind of pathological tendency, and the kind of soft-heartedness that you seem to describe might be, on the other side, another kind of pathological tendency.

Thanks for the thought, Ray. In return I recommend you to check out the writings of Paul Madaule, in particular his book When Listening Comes Alive. If you understand why Tomatis emphasized that listening was a function not only of auditory processing centres in the brain, but also of the muscles of the inner ear, that might help you understand my negation of your thought to identify ZA, sitting, with the non-endgaining mind.

Listening, as a level to be reached, is a function not only of the non-endgaining mind, but also of the ear itself. Sitting, similarly, may be a function not only of the non-endgaining mind but also of this here web of muscle and fascia; and, deeper within, this dangling skeleton poised ready to vibrate as I let my jaw drop open and sing out:

The supreme, deep, and subtle Dharma

Hard to meet in a million years

I now, finding it, can make it my own.

Let us pray to understand what the Tathagata really and truly meant.

voidengineering said...

Mike, thanks much, I'll have a look at Madaule's writing. seeing/eye, thinking/brain...