stopping thought completely

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Re: stopping thought completely

Postby futerko » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:20 am

Azidonis wrote:
futerko wrote:The idea that a "self" cannot be found means that nothing establishes any identity from moment to moment, therefore no existence, and the only constant to (not be) found is the nature of mind, which cannot strictly be said to exist in terms of the meaning of that word.


This is fine. But how does it apply?

If nothing establishes identity from moment to moment, but something appears as thought it is establishing identity moment to moment (otherwise where is the existence?), then what to do with what appears to establish an identity? Just leave it alone and forget about it?

Leave it alone yes, the point is that is cannot be taken as an object for thought, or a goal to be reached, it can only be a lived experience, and all contrivances and conceptualisation distort its true nature.
Where is the existence in a dream? Yet still there is some continuity, although I'm not sure it could be called an identity.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Azidonis » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:00 am

futerko wrote:
Azidonis wrote:
futerko wrote:The idea that a "self" cannot be found means that nothing establishes any identity from moment to moment, therefore no existence, and the only constant to (not be) found is the nature of mind, which cannot strictly be said to exist in terms of the meaning of that word.


This is fine. But how does it apply?

If nothing establishes identity from moment to moment, but something appears as thought it is establishing identity moment to moment (otherwise where is the existence?), then what to do with what appears to establish an identity? Just leave it alone and forget about it?

Leave it alone yes, the point is that is cannot be taken as an object for thought, or a goal to be reached, it can only be a lived experience, and all contrivances and conceptualisation distort its true nature.
Where is the existence in a dream? Yet still there is some continuity, although I'm not sure it could be called an identity.


And if it keeps coming up, just keep leaving it alone, until it doesn't come up anymore?

Is that death or nirvana?
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:30 am

hmmm...

Isn't 'identity' (false though it is) pretty much established moment to moment by dependent origination of some form of discursive "thought"?
That certainly how it has always felt to me, in fact for me with Vipasyana I actually get a bit of a visual of the compound ego-non entity (best term i can come up with, sorry) replicating from moment to moment, dependent on the previous. A silly trivial example is to think of yourself meditating and then think of the self that just thought of yourself meditating...


I see what you guys are saying, ultimately we can't verbalize this because this very bit here defies conceptualization and is outside of it, seems like I need to go back and read a bit of Lankavatara sutra.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Azidonis » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:58 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:hmmm...

Isn't 'identity' (false though it is) pretty much established moment to moment by dependent origination of some form of discursive "thought"?
That certainly how it has always felt to me, in fact for me with Vipasyana I actually get a bit of a visual of the compound ego-non entity (best term i can come up with, sorry) replicating from moment to moment, dependent on the previous. A silly trivial example is to think of yourself meditating and then think of the self that just thought of yourself meditating...


Here's one: If you are in a sound, dreamless sleep, and you start to wake up - that feeling, that awareness. It's not the same, but it's somewhat similar, description-wise.

And then, of course, there are those days where you start thinking before anything.

Sometimes I get the feeling like I have my head half in, and half out of the water. And the momentum of centuries wants to keep holding it under, but all I really want to do is pull my head out of the water and breathe! :)
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby futerko » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:48 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:hmmm...

Isn't 'identity' (false though it is) pretty much established moment to moment by dependent origination of some form of discursive "thought"?
That certainly how it has always felt to me, in fact for me with Vipasyana I actually get a bit of a visual of the compound ego-non entity (best term i can come up with, sorry) replicating from moment to moment, dependent on the previous. A silly trivial example is to think of yourself meditating and then think of the self that just thought of yourself meditating...


That actually sounds like one way of describing karma, the only thing replicating that identity ARE the discursive, dependently originated thoughts.

The "essence of self" can only be defined by what it is not - the more one looks at a mirror, the less one sees the mirror itself, but when you turn the light out to try to get a clear view of the mirror without the reflected phenomena, suddenly there is nothing to be seen at all - there is no separate emptiness beyond dependent origination, but causality only applies when it has something to act on - the mirror still reflects, but none of the "dream" events have any effect because they are just reflections.

Azidonis wrote:And if it keeps coming up, just keep leaving it alone, until it doesn't come up anymore?

Is that death or nirvana?


The mirror like nature of mind will still be there, and insofar as phenomena are seen as mere reflections, one doesn't engage or get entangled in the chain of dependent origination - so less discursive thought means less identification on a conceptual level, less engagement.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Azidonis » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:44 pm

futerko wrote:The mirror like nature of mind will still be there, and insofar as phenomena are seen as mere reflections, one doesn't engage or get entangled in the chain of dependent origination - so less discursive thought means less identification on a conceptual level, less engagement.


Honestly, I'm not sure if I can be too much "less engaged". Every engagement seems like a choice rather than an accident. I suppose engaging in engaging has to go too.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby futerko » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:04 pm

Azidonis wrote:
futerko wrote:The mirror like nature of mind will still be there, and insofar as phenomena are seen as mere reflections, one doesn't engage or get entangled in the chain of dependent origination - so less discursive thought means less identification on a conceptual level, less engagement.


Honestly, I'm not sure if I can be too much "less engaged". Every engagement seems like a choice rather than an accident. I suppose engaging in engaging has to go too.


If you can avoid identfying your "self" and getting entangled then you can enjoy without attachment.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Azidonis » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:43 pm

futerko wrote:
Azidonis wrote:
futerko wrote:The mirror like nature of mind will still be there, and insofar as phenomena are seen as mere reflections, one doesn't engage or get entangled in the chain of dependent origination - so less discursive thought means less identification on a conceptual level, less engagement.


Honestly, I'm not sure if I can be too much "less engaged". Every engagement seems like a choice rather than an accident. I suppose engaging in engaging has to go too.


If you can avoid identfying your "self" and getting entangled then you can enjoy without attachment.


It has happened a few times (outside of asana) where the whole process just stopped. The thoughts are reduced to just two that cancel each other out, and then the whole being lights up. The body smiles (as in, it just does it. There's no thought, hey this is cool just smile. It just smiles), and everything feels lighter and brighter. But it doesn't last long, usually the feeling lasts for a minute or two, but it's more residue because the recognition of the feeling arrives within a few seconds.

Of course, trying to return to that feeling is an error. Reproducing it is impossible. It is different every time, but with similar qualities. Maybe one time it will just happen and stay like that. :)
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby futerko » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:36 pm

Azidonis wrote:It has happened a few times (outside of asana) where the whole process just stopped. The thoughts are reduced to just two that cancel each other out, and then the whole being lights up. The body smiles (as in, it just does it. There's no thought, hey this is cool just smile. It just smiles), and everything feels lighter and brighter. But it doesn't last long, usually the feeling lasts for a minute or two, but it's more residue because the recognition of the feeling arrives within a few seconds.

Of course, trying to return to that feeling is an error. Reproducing it is impossible. It is different every time, but with similar qualities. Maybe one time it will just happen and stay like that. :)

Even Buddha himself did not enter that state permanently in his nirmanakaya form.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Azidonis » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:52 pm

futerko wrote:
Azidonis wrote:It has happened a few times (outside of asana) where the whole process just stopped. The thoughts are reduced to just two that cancel each other out, and then the whole being lights up. The body smiles (as in, it just does it. There's no thought, hey this is cool just smile. It just smiles), and everything feels lighter and brighter. But it doesn't last long, usually the feeling lasts for a minute or two, but it's more residue because the recognition of the feeling arrives within a few seconds.

Of course, trying to return to that feeling is an error. Reproducing it is impossible. It is different every time, but with similar qualities. Maybe one time it will just happen and stay like that. :)

Even Buddha himself did not enter that state permanently in his nirmanakaya form.


Then I don't understand.

If nirvana means, "blowing out", and we seem to have been speaking of a type of blow out (or not - please feel free to correct me, as it can be confusing, and I want to understand it right, otherwise all I know is that randomly it goes 'pop' then comes back), why is it re-lit? Or is that part of the doctrine of impermanence?

Is even nirvana not permanent? As in, the waking everyday functioning of a being.

And what of anuttarasamyaksambodhi?

Edit: I can make sense of this in my own way. But, Buddhism really has seemed to nail down all the various points of it. So in order to communicate rightly with people about it, and not mislead them, is why I'm talking about this here, if that makes any sense.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby futerko » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:20 pm

Azidonis wrote:
futerko wrote:
Azidonis wrote:It has happened a few times (outside of asana) where the whole process just stopped. The thoughts are reduced to just two that cancel each other out, and then the whole being lights up. The body smiles (as in, it just does it. There's no thought, hey this is cool just smile. It just smiles), and everything feels lighter and brighter. But it doesn't last long, usually the feeling lasts for a minute or two, but it's more residue because the recognition of the feeling arrives within a few seconds.

Of course, trying to return to that feeling is an error. Reproducing it is impossible. It is different every time, but with similar qualities. Maybe one time it will just happen and stay like that. :)

Even Buddha himself did not enter that state permanently in his nirmanakaya form.


Then I don't understand.

If nirvana means, "blowing out", and we seem to have been speaking of a type of blow out (or not - please feel free to correct me, as it can be confusing, and I want to understand it right, otherwise all I know is that randomly it goes 'pop' then comes back), why is it re-lit? Or is that part of the doctrine of impermanence?

Is even nirvana not permanent? As in, the waking everyday functioning of a being.

And what of anuttarasamyaksambodhi?

Edit: I can make sense of this in my own way. But, Buddhism really has seemed to nail down all the various points of it. So in order to communicate rightly with people about it, and not mislead them, is why I'm talking about this here, if that makes any sense.


Being embodied is dualistic, so even if you are realised, you still have to work with circumstances. So even Buddha experienced some minor residual karma during his lifetime.
(besides, if you had a permanently wide grin it might freak people out a bit, and your face would hurt!)
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Azidonis » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:54 pm

futerko wrote:Being embodied is dualistic, so even if you are realised, you still have to work with circumstances. So even Buddha experienced some minor residual karma during his lifetime.
(besides, if you had a permanently wide grin it might freak people out a bit, and your face would hurt!)


I remember thinking last night when it occurred that, "What if I just walked around like this all day". Of course, it didn't help to stop the smiling or the laughter. :)

It seems best to 'enjoy it' when it comes, 'enjoy it' when it's there, and 'enjoy it' when it goes.

Although is is always there, and never there.

One huge paradox and contradiction. Wonderful.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby lowlydog » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:23 am

viniketa wrote:
lowlydog wrote:you can't stop thinking by engaging in thinking


What is visualization if not thought? A thought can be an "object" of one-pointed meditation.



I am not a particularly visual person, my practice is with the breath and sensations for the most part, I cannot speak much about visualisation as my experience is limited.

My point was you can't stop thinking by "engaging" in thinking, getting caught up in a train of thoughts, you can however observe thoughts arising and passing away. I would not perscribe this to beginning medatators as thoughts are moving so fast, but with a great deal of samadhi one can observe individual thoughts.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Ayu » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:48 am

For me thoughts are a phenomenon of the nervous system. They are working by themselves due to peaceless state of the mind. Depends how a special person is able to generate peace in the mind to be thoughtless. This seems to differ in the individuals altough there are some guidelines for what helps.
For me it is possible to become <thoughtless> by thinking in a special way: if i TRY to read Nagarjunas "Middle Way" i get so puzzled that thoughtlessness quickly arises - for a short time. :smile:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby ground » Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:49 am

From the outset there is nothing. Watch this. But that is not watching nothingness because that would be watching something. :sage:
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby White Lotus » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:33 pm

there will always be thoughts, except during meditation or awareness of external things. mindfulness/bare attention suspends thought for brief periods of time.

extuinguishing the subtle mind provides the mediator with easier thought free mediation. many thoughts however still arise even when the subtle mind is extinguished. most of them are unnecessary in my opinion.

do not attach to nothingness, nor nothing at all. go beyond these two positions. take your stand nowhere at all. master Zhao Zhou said ''do not be attached to nothing''.

best wishes, Tom.

ps.
before the subtle mind is extinguished samadhi will only be entered into if one focuses on the hara. a spot about an inch or two below the tummy button. one needs to move ones mind and the focus of ones mind into the hara, then samadhis and absorption come easily. it is by pinning the mind in the hara and identifying it with the breath that subtle mind is extinguished... then after samadis become extinct and there is no longer a mind to become absorbed.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Azidonis » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:16 pm

White Lotus wrote:then after samadis become extinct


What do you mean?
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby alpha » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:48 pm

Thought is perfect and free.
Therefore leave it as it is and recognize it as being yourself.
AOM
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby White Lotus » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:19 pm

according to the great perfection, mind should be left just as it is; without any kind of adjustment. it is true to say that there is no need for any kind of attainment. the mind is spontateously perfect and always have been. but... if you are persuing a ''path'' to enlightenment there comes a time when the samadhis cease to manifest and it also becomes impossible to merge with the hara; this is when the subtle mind has become extinct.

not everyone is suited to the great perfection. it is too easy for most people to grasp and maintain faith in.

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Jesse » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:53 pm

Thought is perfect and free.
Therefore leave it as it is and recognize it as being yourself.


That really only applies if your not clinging to them. Otherwise not so much.
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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