How to be mindful of thoughts and emotions?

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How to be mindful of thoughts and emotions?

Postby SeekerNo1000003 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:51 am

I have a few questions & would love your input to any one of them!

First of all, how can one practice mindfulness with respect to thoughts and emotions?
How is this possible when the thoughts and emotions are negative?

When I become aware of a negative thought or a negative emotion, such as jealousy, I become anxious. I immediately want to remove it from my mind.
For example, I try to "prove" to myself that this negativity & thinking behind it, is baseless & unreasonable. This approach does not seem to work very well for me.

I've heard that one way to do this right, is to just watch, without becoming involved. This seems very hard. Does this work in your experience?
If you do not react, but just watch, would the negative thoughts and the negative emotions lead to any bad consequences/ bad karma?
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Re: How to be mindful of thoughts and emotions?

Postby Qing Tian » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:46 am

Smile at it and say 'Hi'.
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”
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Re: How to be mindful of thoughts and emotions?

Postby duckfiasco » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:15 am

Yes, it's hard.
We've done nothing but take our feelings and thoughts personally and given them our undivided attention for a very long time.
And almost everyone around you is doing this 100% of the time in a society that expects it.

What helped me was noticing the qualities of the thoughts, what they're like instead of what they're about.
When I get hateful feelings about someone, those stories are SO seductive and easy to get caught up in, being right and indignant.
I try to see what effects these thoughts have.
Well, they proliferate. One comes, then more come right after. Even people I love seem repulsive when hatred is there. It has this and that physical sensation in the body. It lasts for this long, comes up during these times about these incidents...
Of course, you don't want to psychoanalyze yourself for 30 minutes, but for those really sticky habits, they may take more mental involvement to get yourself out of the deep groove.

It may also be helpful to look for yourself for the origin of the negative thoughts.
Part of the authority of lust, depression, hatred, is we ignore their cause, automatically identifying with them.
What started loosening depression was seeing if it actually was some "terrible me" making all this negativity.
I couldn't find it.
The thoughts would just bubble up without my say-so, coming from who knows where.
I didn't sit there willfully making myself feel shitty, yet here it was.
If I didn't make the feelings myself, why should I keep investing so much attention in them?
It can actually feel a little spooky, these really hateful or depressing or horny thoughts entering like strangers into your house. You don't know where they came from, and when they leave, you don't know where they go.

Of course, it's one thing to read this, and quite another to see it for yourself.
Most of the day, I don't seem to really believe that my thoughts and emotions aren't "mine".
It's hard to see unless you're sitting there, curious and observant, because the process of identification is so automatic.
It's why it's called practice :)

In sum, I would say this kind of applied curiosity has been more fruitful than suppression when it comes to handling destructive or distracting habits/emotions.
After all, these are part of your experience as well, like a stubbed toe or a broken arm.

Good luck :)
Namu Amida Butsu
The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
- Sengcan (tr. Suzuki)
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Re: How to be mindful of thoughts and emotions?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:28 pm

acceptance and non-judgementality is a key in my opinion and experience. dont condemn what happens in your mind, accept it and let it go. or let it be and just observe it and learn from it. show compassion and understanding even the negative aspects of yourself. not to say that indulge in your negative treats but heal them with love and compassion.

you cant force things happening in your mind, you need a more relaxed and easygoing attitude.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: How to be mindful of thoughts and emotions?

Postby muni » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:42 pm

Qing Tian wrote:Smile at it and say 'Hi'.


:smile:
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Re: How to be mindful of thoughts and emotions?

Postby Matt J » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:49 pm

What works for me is a lot of practice. And cultivating a certain attitude, and attitude of investigation. It is much easier if you are truly curious and want to learn more about yourself.

One thing I like to do is go outside and watch the weather. Personally, I don't get upset if it is cloudy or raining, or sunny. The weather is the weather. Then I take that same approach to the "inner" weather.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

http://nondualism.org/
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Re: How to be mindful of thoughts and emotions?

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:13 pm

SeekerNo1000003 wrote:I have a few questions & would love your input to any one of them!

First of all, how can one practice mindfulness with respect to thoughts and emotions?


First, you should start by familiarizing yourself with the prinicipal practice of satipatthana.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.22.0.than.html

Group that with the other 33 factors of awakening (along with the 3 characteristics) and you have the core path of practice of [sutrayana] Buddhism. It would also be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Anapanasati Sutta as well. You could start by looking at the sister site dhammawheel.com. Since you're posting on a Mahayana forum: you might want to check out Zhiyi's material of the Tian'Tai sect for a look at how to apply shamatha-vipashyana in a Mahayana framework.

Hope this is helpful.
:namaste:
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Re: How to be mindful of thoughts and emotions?

Postby Neal » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:52 pm

For me it helped enormously to finally understand that the point is not at all to abandon the suffering, but to comprehend it - and becoming skillful in abandoning the causes for this suffering. Getting that changed everything.

Since I cannot say it myself better than Thanissaro Bhikkhu, please try listening these three 10-15 -minute talks from him and see if you think about suffering differently after that:

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/y201 ... Truths.mp3

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/y200 ... Truths.mp3

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/y200 ... Truths.mp3


Advice there how to map events of one's mind to four noble truths are so very practical! (i.e. four noble truths are not just statements, but duties for us to remember and apply in everyday experiences all the time).
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Re: How to be mindful of thoughts and emotions?

Postby SeekerNo1000003 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:43 pm

Thank you all very much. I am studying some of the materials you have suggested. I truly appreciate this. :namaste:
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