stopping thought completely

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Azidonis » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:47 pm

Azidonis wrote:
White Lotus wrote:then after samadis become extinct


What do you mean?


Still wondering what you mean by saying, something that isn't really something, that exists but doesn't really exist, can become but cannot really become, extinct when it never really exists.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Ayu » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:05 pm

Reminds me of Nagarjunas "judgement-square", point 4:

1. Something is like this
2. Something is not like this
3. Something is either like this or like that
4. Something is neither like this nor like that.

Often it comes out that things are neither/nor.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby songhill » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:42 pm

Regarding the OP, beginners and even veterans suffer from four maladies one of which is stopping thoughts.

1) Contrivance: the belief that perfect enlightenment can be attained by contrivance, for example, through study, meditation, ritual, doing good deeds, etc.
2) Naturalism: the belief that perfect enlightenment can be attained by not cutting off samsara and not seeking nirvana, that is, letting things follow their natural course.
3) Stopping: the belief that perfect enlightenment is attained by stopping thoughts.
4) Annihilation: the belief that perfect enlightenment is attained by the annihilation of defilements.

(Source: Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment)
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:22 pm

Once i had a job feeding lumber into gang saw. The job was excruciatingly dull and i suffered from the same thoughts going round and round hour after hour. One day I decided I would stop thinking entirely and see if it made the work go faster. It didn't. I just felt sort of dead. I expect this would be the normal result when motivation is off the mark.

There's a difference between thought stopping for it's own sake and thought stopping as a stepping stone to insight.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Ayu » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:21 pm

catmoon wrote:Once i had a job feeding lumber into gang saw. The job was excruciatingly dull and i suffered from the same thoughts going round and round hour after hour. One day I decided I would stop thinking entirely and see if it made the work go faster. It didn't. I just felt sort of dead. I expect this would be the normal result when motivation is off the mark.

There's a difference between thought stopping for it's own sake and thought stopping as a stepping stone to insight.

Hm, i know this phenomenon of round-running-thoughts while gardening. If there is a football field of lawn full with leaves to rake... The mind is too disengaged then.
I use to collect mantras in such a case. So the mind is allowed to chat all the time but it is sensefull. :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?
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby 5heaps » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:08 am

viniketa wrote:
Azidonis wrote:I would be interesting in seeing that instruction.


It could be some time before I can retrieve it, if I can retrieve it.

Azidonis wrote:As I understand it, when the subject and object (observer/observed, thinker/thought) unite and dissolve, everything goes bye-bye. Then it comes back.

When it first happened to me, the subject and object became each other for an instant, and then there was no awareness at all, period. Then, some time later (I have no idea how long), everything came back gradually. Awareness was much different for a time, until the experience "wore off".


Yes, this "gap" can become consuming. It may or may not be accompanied by this "subject and object became each other" recollection. There is no awareness. The "different awareness", afterward, is what some term "meditative equipoise" which they try to "stretch" into daily life.

My teacher taught this is not the high samādhi - not the dharmamegha - and one should avoid becoming trapped there. If there is no awareness, there is no compassion, no bliss, no nothing.

it happens automatically whenever a desire realm mind moves past the 9th stage of the desire realm (ie. perfect samadhi) into the entry stage of the form realm. it also happens for the 1st dhyana, 2nd, etc. this is because moving between paths/levels requires mundane vipashyana which has different parts--a part of seeing/absorption, a part of release, etc this 'blanking out'/lack of awareness is the part of release and the mind sort of "resets" in a very specific manner where your mind slowly climbs back up into coarseness and you become able to detect what just happened in a very specific authoritative way. this is standard. the goal is to dispel as many desire realm qualities as you can and familiarise yourself with form realm qualities as much as you can so that 1st dhyana can be realized. likewise after 1st dhyana is realized and signs of 2nd dhyana eventually appear the mind will reset, the goal is not to become attached to resetting but rather to give up as many of the 1st dhyana qualities as you can and get as familiar as you can with the 2nd dhyana
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Azidonis » Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:47 pm

5heaps wrote:
viniketa wrote:
Azidonis wrote:I would be interesting in seeing that instruction.


It could be some time before I can retrieve it, if I can retrieve it.

Azidonis wrote:As I understand it, when the subject and object (observer/observed, thinker/thought) unite and dissolve, everything goes bye-bye. Then it comes back.

When it first happened to me, the subject and object became each other for an instant, and then there was no awareness at all, period. Then, some time later (I have no idea how long), everything came back gradually. Awareness was much different for a time, until the experience "wore off".


Yes, this "gap" can become consuming. It may or may not be accompanied by this "subject and object became each other" recollection. There is no awareness. The "different awareness", afterward, is what some term "meditative equipoise" which they try to "stretch" into daily life.

My teacher taught this is not the high samādhi - not the dharmamegha - and one should avoid becoming trapped there. If there is no awareness, there is no compassion, no bliss, no nothing.

it happens automatically whenever a desire realm mind moves past the 9th stage of the desire realm (ie. perfect samadhi) into the entry stage of the form realm. it also happens for the 1st dhyana, 2nd, etc. this is because moving between paths/levels requires mundane vipashyana which has different parts--a part of seeing/absorption, a part of release, etc this 'blanking out'/lack of awareness is the part of release and the mind sort of "resets" in a very specific manner where your mind slowly climbs back up into coarseness and you become able to detect what just happened in a very specific authoritative way. this is standard. the goal is to dispel as many desire realm qualities as you can and familiarise yourself with form realm qualities as much as you can so that 1st dhyana can be realized. likewise after 1st dhyana is realized and signs of 2nd dhyana eventually appear the mind will reset, the goal is not to become attached to resetting but rather to give up as many of the 1st dhyana qualities as you can and get as familiar as you can with the 2nd dhyana


But are they final releases, or are they returning, recurring releases as they have been?
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby xtracorrupt » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:30 pm

Yes, after one stops being ignorant of the possibility of one being satisfied , one can be satisfied and lose belief of needing

Try acknowledging the possibility of naturally being happy, naturally not needing a reason to be happy, consider being satisfied normality
Existence can be normal.
Ex:a Apple tree is a apple tree
Ex:Michael is Michael, Michael is who Michael is


Existence can be conditioned.
Ex: Apple tree is apple tree if apple tree grows
Ex: Michael is Michael if Michael is a king
Ex: Michael is Michael if Michael is walking
Ex: Michael is Michael if Michael is not walking

Existence can be unconditioned
Ex: Apple is apple tree once apple tree is grown for 50 weeks
Ex: Michael is Michael once Michael is a king
Ex: Michael is content Michael once Michael is walking
Ex: Michael is discontent Michael once Michael is walking.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:54 pm

5heaps wrote:it happens automatically ...the goal is not to become attached to resetting but rather to give up as many of the 1st dhyana qualities as you can and get as familiar as you can with the 2nd dhyana
Actually the goal is just to meditate. As you become more deeply absorbed, the qualities found in previous stages will "fall off" by themselves. The idea is not to cling to the experiences/qualities. It's not a matter of giving them up, as that would be contrived and possibly give rise to aversion towards the qualities, the idea is just to relax the mind ie to not cling.
This mind
so tightly bound - relax it,
and you're free, no doubt;

the things that bind
the deluded
are freedom for the wise.

Saraha Tantric Verses: Three Collections of Mystical Verse from Buddhist India

:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby futerko » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:19 pm

xtracorrupt wrote:Yes, after one stops being ignorant of the possibility of one being satisfied , one can be satisfied and lose belief of needing

Try acknowledging the possibility of naturally being happy, naturally not needing a reason to be happy, consider being satisfied normality

:good:
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby 5heaps » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:10 am

Azidonis wrote:But are they final releases, or are they returning, recurring releases as they have been?

when reaching shamata there will be one of these, and it is final for as long as you can maintain the shamata factors. if you lose them and return just to the 9th stage (perfect samadhi of the desire realm, which is perfect samadhi absent the shamata mental factors) you will experience the release again if you regain shamata. once you have shamata, and assuming you do not fall back down to below shamata, you will not experience this release again until you begin to traverse the 5 stages to the 1st dhyana (assuming you progress linearly)

gregkavarnos wrote:Actually the goal is just to meditate. As you become more deeply absorbed, the qualities found in previous stages will "fall off" by themselves.

that is categorically false. progressing through the stages of the form realm necessarily requires vipashyana, which is an analytical realization of what to give up at the current level and what specifically to take up. upon entering vipashyana and attaining the path of no more learning of for example the 1st dhyana there is achieved simultaneously the attainment of 2nd dhyana. its a bit of a diffrent story if one can realize the object of negation of dzogchen, emptiness, etc and has the karma to automatically become familiar with higher concentrations which were previously completely unfamiliar in this life
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:04 am

5heaps wrote:that is categorically false. progressing through the stages of the form realm necessarily requires vipashyana, which is an analytical realization of what to give up at the current level and what specifically to take up. upon entering vipashyana and attaining the path of no more learning of for example the 1st dhyana there is achieved simultaneously the attainment of 2nd dhyana. its a bit of a diffrent story if one can realize the object of negation of dzogchen, emptiness, etc and has the karma to automatically become familiar with higher concentrations which were previously completely unfamiliar in this life
S you have ben taught to meditate like: "Okay, now bliss go away coz I want to enter the second jhana and bliss is just not allowed, no siree. Uh-uh! Ooops here it is again. Look are you going to leave or what? I'm trying to enter the second jhana here you know!? Give me a break! ad nauseum..." :shrug:

Seems kind of weird and unnatural to me.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Martin007 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:30 pm

5heaps wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Actually the goal is just to meditate. As you become more deeply absorbed, the qualities found in previous stages will "fall off" by themselves.

that is categorically false. progressing through the stages of the form realm necessarily requires vipashyana, which is an analytical realization of what to give up at the current level and what specifically to take up. upon entering vipashyana and attaining the path of no more learning of for example the 1st dhyana there is achieved simultaneously the attainment of 2nd dhyana.


I've experienced it as a natural progression, in the way that gregkavarnos describes.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby catmoon » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:45 pm

porpoise wrote:
I've experienced it as a natural progression, in the way that gregkavarnos describes.


yup, same here. The bliss and the forms of thought just fade away, and the mind becomes locked in concentration without distraction, so that no further effort is required. The jhana just... maintains itself. Look Ma, no hands.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby wayland » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:43 pm

5heaps wrote:an analytical realization of what to give up at the current level and what specifically to take up.

There is nothing to be "taken up" as there is nothing to acquire. Sure you need clarity and awareness to see what's going on but it's non-discursive, visceral and direct. It's a process of progressive opening and release, not acquisition. Any up-front expectations, analysis, ideas, theories etc. are just going to muddy it up, as they can't match the actual experience.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby greentara » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:07 am

This is mind stopping if its real? Check it out! It's wild!
The video is called:

Teleportation or Time Travel?
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby 5heaps » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:36 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
5heaps wrote:that is categorically false. progressing through the stages of the form realm necessarily requires vipashyana, which is an analytical realization of what to give up at the current level and what specifically to take up. upon entering vipashyana and attaining the path of no more learning of for example the 1st dhyana there is achieved simultaneously the attainment of 2nd dhyana. its a bit of a diffrent story if one can realize the object of negation of dzogchen, emptiness, etc and has the karma to automatically become familiar with higher concentrations which were previously completely unfamiliar in this life.

So you have ben taught to meditate like: "Okay, now bliss go away coz I want to enter the second jhana and bliss is just not allowed, no siree. Uh-uh! Ooops here it is again. Look are you going to leave or what? I'm trying to enter the second jhana here you know!? Give me a break! ad nauseum..."
Seems kind of weird and unnatural to me.



those are just useless thoughts. vipashyana ascertains the actual characteristics of the mind and performs analysis. due to such insight there is cessation with regards to coarse, undesirable things such as the bliss of the 1st dhyana.

obviously in such a case if one lacks the skill to ascertain those characteristics it is impossible to move into the 2nd dhyana.

catmoon wrote:yup, same here. The bliss and the forms of thought just fade away, and the mind becomes locked in concentration without distraction, so that no further effort is required. The jhana just... maintains itself. Look Ma, no hands.


theres no reason to call that dhyana...this happens way before even the first appearance of samadhi on the 6th / 7th stage
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:56 am

5heaps wrote:those are just useless thoughts. vipashyana ascertains the actual characteristics of the mind and performs analysis. due to such insight there is cessation with regards to coarse, undesirable things such as the bliss of the 1st dhyana.
The bliss of meditative absorption is neither desirable nor undesirable. Clinging or aversion gives rise to these dualistic categories of desirable or undesirable. The bliss of first jhana just arises as a natural consequence of absorption, there is no need to either foster the feeling nor to avoid it. It falls away by itself once absorption increases. You do not need to chase it away.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:48 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
5heaps wrote:those are just useless thoughts. vipashyana ascertains the actual characteristics of the mind and performs analysis. due to such insight there is cessation with regards to coarse, undesirable things such as the bliss of the 1st dhyana.
The bliss of meditative absorption is neither desirable nor undesirable. Clinging or aversion gives rise to these dualistic categories of desirable or undesirable. The bliss of first jhana just arises as a natural consequence of absorption, there is no need to either foster the feeling nor to avoid it. It falls away by itself once absorption increases. You do not need to chase it away.
:namaste:


Yep trying to "label" the stages you are in is a hinderance to the actual practice,you end up letting loose the monkey mind by doing so,just let go and let be.
Realisation will come if it comes,you cannot intellectually create realisation.
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Re: stopping thought completely

Postby catmoon » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:15 pm

5heaps wrote:
catmoon wrote:yup, same here. The bliss and the forms of thought just fade away, and the mind becomes locked in concentration without distraction, so that no further effort is required. The jhana just... maintains itself. Look Ma, no hands.


theres no reason to call that dhyana...this happens way before even the first appearance of samadhi on the 6th / 7th stage


Ah but there is. Let's look at the sutras.




Jhana is a meditative state of profound stillness and concentration in which the mind becomes fully immersed and absorbed in the chosen object of attention. It is the cornerstone in the development of Right Concentration.

The definition (with similes)


[First jhana]

"There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal.

"Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again and again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within and without — would nevertheless not drip; even so, the monk permeates, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal...

[Second jhana]

"Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure.

"Just like a lake with spring-water welling up from within, having no inflow from east, west, north, or south, and with the skies periodically supplying abundant showers, so that the cool fount of water welling up from within the lake would permeate and pervade, suffuse and fill it with cool waters, there being no part of the lake unpervaded by the cool waters; even so, the monk permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure...

[Third jhana]

"And furthermore, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture, so that there is nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture.

"Just as in a blue-, white-, or red-lotus pond, there may be some of the blue, white, or red lotuses which, born and growing in the water, stay immersed in the water and flourish without standing up out of the water, so that they are permeated and pervaded, suffused and filled with cool water from their roots to their tips, and nothing of those blue, white, or red lotuses would be unpervaded with cool water; even so, the monk permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture...

[Fourth jhana]

"And furthermore, with the abandoning of pleasure and stress — as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress — he enters and remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. He sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness, so that there is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness.

"Just as if a man were sitting wrapped from head to foot with a white cloth so that there would be no part of his body to which the white cloth did not extend; even so, the monk sits, permeating his body with a pure, bright awareness. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness."

— AN 5.28


This little gem will generously reward a close reading.














This Access to Insight edition is ©2005–2013.

"Jhana: jhana", edited by John T. Bullitt. Access to Insight, 26 May 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... jhana.html . Retrieved on 6 January 2013.
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