Thinking

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:42 pm

catmoon wrote:Yes and no. The tension and hard breathing mean its time to check. They can be caused by harmful thoughts. They can also be caused by playing tennis.

Tension is caused from impure thoughts.

catmoon wrote:Anger is a problem because it distorts the mind. One sees the object of anger as much worse than it actually is, which can lead to bad decisions. Anger often leads to harmful actions. If one catches it and can observe it (oh, looks here's this anger thing arising again) it is very liable to drain away, especially if one is quite clear on the damage potential of anger and does not wish to be angry.

Anger is just impure thought labeled as unpleasant and blindly reacted towards. When you eventually notice it don't make it a problem just observe it without reacting towards it.
Catching and identifying impure thought before it turns to anger was the the point of this thread.

catmoon wrote:Anger is usually directed at a person. It's hard to get mad at a Buddha. So if you see Buddha nature before you, you are less likely to become angry, because instead of a bad person you see a Buddha and some mildly interesting things obscuring the expression of the Buddha nature.


Doesn't this just supress the anger? Does it have the power to free you from the root cause of anger?
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Thinking

Postby robby » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:23 pm

lowlydog wrote:
robby wrote:Another way of countering anger is to cultivate the mental states known as the 4 palaces of Brahma; loving kindness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity. There are fairly easy and powerful meditations and chants to arouse loving kindness (metta, maitri) and compassion (karuna) within ourselves. There are also practices to radiate or suffuse kindness and compassion outwardly. The effect of the latter on others can be quite remarkable.


While meditating impure thoughts arise eg "why won't this teacher stop chanting, I want this meditation to be over, man is he ever long winded" these impure thoughts cause a biochemical reaction to occur producing some sensation, every impurity will generate some sensation or the other within the body. Reaction to them will cause them to multiply. When we are experiencing these impurities I am taught not to practice loving kindness outwardly as I may unknowingly be radiating my negativities towards others. I do however practice loving kindness inwardly as a technique to weather the really bad storms that impare my view.


The first part makes me think of the 5 hindrances;' the second one. The 5 hindrances are supposed to arise when we make the effort to sit. I find when the annoyance subsides; I start to feel sluggish and drowsy. If that subsides; then i feel fidgety and anxious. If that subsides, then I might feel uncertainty. If I can keep gently directing my attention back to the object for 20 minutes; then the distractions clear up and I can maintain a sustained attention and interest. I suspect we can make too big a deal out of negative feelings. They are normal responses. We do not want to be controlled by them, nor do we want to be frightened of or alarmed by them. These days, when I feel irritation arise, I stop and inwardly chuckle at myself, like a kindly grandparent smiles at the bratty stunts their grandchildren pull.

The other part makes sense. I think one would want to practice metta bhavana for a while. and feel comfortable, before doing the suffusion of loving kindness. I am mainly thinking of situations in which one has to deal with difficult people. If we are able to radiate authentic patience and good will, then we can put such people at ease and they will often be helpful. If we are impatient and annoyed; then they become more difficult.
User avatar
robby
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:11 am
Location: Rural Norteast Illinois USA

Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:48 am

robby wrote:The first part makes me think of the 5 hindrances;' the second one. The 5 hindrances are supposed to arise when we make the effort to sit. I find when the annoyance subsides; I start to feel sluggish and drowsy. If that subsides; then i feel fidgety and anxious. If that subsides, then I might feel uncertainty. If I can keep gently directing my attention back to the object for 20 minutes; then the distractions clear up and I can maintain a sustained attention and interest. I suspect we can make too big a deal out of negative feelings. They are normal responses. We do not want to be controlled by them, nor do we want to be frightened of or alarmed by them. These days, when I feel irritation arise, I stop and inwardly chuckle at myself, like a kindly grandparent smiles at the bratty stunts their grandchildren pull.

The other part makes sense. I think one would want to practice metta bhavana for a while. and feel comfortable, before doing the suffusion of loving kindness. I am mainly thinking of situations in which one has to deal with difficult people. If we are able to radiate authentic patience and good will, then we can put such people at ease and they will often be helpful. If we are impatient and annoyed; then they become more difficult.


Hi robby,

sorry for the late response,

In each example you have stated that you FEEL, sluggish, anxious, uncertainty, etc... This is what I'm taught to observe feelings (bodily sensations) as a way to recognise impure thought, I'm looking for other indicators to help recognise impure thoughts at an early stage.

The breath becoming fast paced is another potential warning sign, are there any others?
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Thinking

Postby catmoon » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:57 am

lowlydog wrote:In each example you have stated that you FEEL, sluggish, anxious, uncertainty, etc... This is what I'm taught to observe feelings (bodily sensations) as a way to recognise impure thought, I'm looking for other indicators to help recognise impure thoughts at an early stage.

The breath becoming fast paced is another potential warning sign, are there any others?


Clenched teeth. Knitted brow. Aggressive hand gestures. Frowning and scowling. Pointing. Loud speech.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2916
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Thinking

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:23 am

I don't know what tradition you are practicing in lolwlydog, but for me prostrations will bring anything "bad" in me to the surface almost immediately...it gives me a good baseline of what I will be dealing with in mediation generally.
"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
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2166
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Thinking

Postby catmoon » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:29 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I don't know what tradition you are practicing in lolwlydog, but for me prostrations will bring anything "bad" in me to the surface almost immediately...it gives me a good baseline of what I will be dealing with in mediation generally.


Fascinating. All I get during prostrations is a preoccupation with keeping count. :tongue:

Any idea how or why that stuff comes up in prostration practice?
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2916
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:39 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I don't know what tradition you are practicing in lolwlydog, but for me prostrations will bring anything "bad" in me to the surface almost immediately...it gives me a good baseline of what I will be dealing with in mediation generally.


That's great, but the question is how do you recognise the "bad"?
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Thinking

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:46 am

lowlydog wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:I don't know what tradition you are practicing in lolwlydog, but for me prostrations will bring anything "bad" in me to the surface almost immediately...it gives me a good baseline of what I will be dealing with in mediation generally.


That's great, but the question is how do you recognise the "bad"?


Well in the case of prostrations I actually feel fear, doubt etc. arise immediately, it's like someone punched my ego in it's face;)..in meditation though, \the consensus is that over time you develop the ability to know when harmful things arise, and eventually cut them off. I am not great at cutting them off yet, but they are beginning to matter to me less and less - now I can just say "oh yeah, that one" and move on. I do not know anyone advanced enough that they don't experience 'bad' stuff when they meditate, every book or teacher I have seen says these things are normal, and in fact can be a sign of progress.

So my question is, what do you want to be different than it is now?
"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
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2166
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Thinking

Postby Ayu » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:48 am

lowlydog wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:I don't know what tradition you are practicing in lolwlydog, but for me prostrations will bring anything "bad" in me to the surface almost immediately...it gives me a good baseline of what I will be dealing with in mediation generally.


That's great, but the question is how do you recognise the "bad"?

Seems to be not so hard to recognize. That what is a hindrance to dharma can be called "bad".
That what closes the curtains of the mind.
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
User avatar
Ayu
 
Posts: 828
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:13 am

catmoon wrote:Clenched teeth. Knitted brow. Aggressive hand gestures. Frowning and scowling. Pointing. Loud speech.


Now your cooking,

Although Agressive hand gestures, pointing and loud speech are probably indicaters that you are not getting angry but are angry and have lost the balance of the mind.

I've often noticed when I'm mindful and about to eat my hands clench it signals me to relax, smell the food, have patience. Also when having a conversation and I'm disagreeing with what the other is saying at times I catch myself clenching my teeth, this is a signal to relax and realize the tension that these thoughts are causing.

These are great but still fall under bodily sensation awareness.

Are bodily sensations the only way to observe stress arising in us? Does stress leave a taste in your mouth or a smell or have a particular sound we can observe?
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:24 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Well in the case of prostrations I actually feel fear, doubt etc. arise immediately, it's like someone punched my ego in it's face;)..in meditation though, \the consensus is that over time you develop the ability to know when harmful things arise, and eventually cut them off. I am not great at cutting them off yet, but they are beginning to matter to me less and less - now I can just say "oh yeah, that one" and move on. I do not know anyone advanced enough that they don't experience 'bad' stuff when they meditate, every book or teacher I have seen says these things are normal, and in fact can be a sign of progress.

So my question is, what do you want to be different than it is now?


You FEEL fear,doubt etc... (bodily sensations). How else other than bodily sensations can we recognise impure thoughts?

I want my son to stop crying and go to bed, and that thought is causing tension to arise in my body that I can feel through bodily sensations, and I am observing them as they are NOW. :smile:
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:28 am

Ayu wrote:Seems to be not so hard to recognize. That what is a hindrance to dharma can be called "bad".
That what closes the curtains of the mind.


If it's so easy to recognise ego, and we know it's clouding the mind, why is it so difficult to eradicate?
lowlydog
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Thinking

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:45 am

lowlydog wrote:
Ayu wrote:Seems to be not so hard to recognize. That what is a hindrance to dharma can be called "bad".
That what closes the curtains of the mind.


If it's so easy to recognise ego, and we know it's clouding the mind, why is it so difficult to eradicate?


Habit accumulated since beginningless time I imagine.
"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
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2166
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Thinking

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:47 am

lowlydog wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Well in the case of prostrations I actually feel fear, doubt etc. arise immediately, it's like someone punched my ego in it's face;)..in meditation though, \the consensus is that over time you develop the ability to know when harmful things arise, and eventually cut them off. I am not great at cutting them off yet, but they are beginning to matter to me less and less - now I can just say "oh yeah, that one" and move on. I do not know anyone advanced enough that they don't experience 'bad' stuff when they meditate, every book or teacher I have seen says these things are normal, and in fact can be a sign of progress.

So my question is, what do you want to be different than it is now?


You FEEL fear,doubt etc... (bodily sensations). How else other than bodily sensations can we recognise impure thoughts?

I want my son to stop crying and go to bed, and that thought is causing tension to arise in my body that I can feel through bodily sensations, and I am observing them as they are NOW. :smile:


Heh I have to meditate while watching kids all the time, I hear ya.

I am not sure what you are asking still though, the only way to "predict" before unpleasant states arise is to get to know your own patterns better - at least for me that's the case.
"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
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2166
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Thinking

Postby Ayu » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:27 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
lowlydog wrote:
Ayu wrote:Seems to be not so hard to recognize. That what is a hindrance to dharma can be called "bad".
That what closes the curtains of the mind.


If it's so easy to recognise ego, and we know it's clouding the mind, why is it so difficult to eradicate?


Habit accumulated since beginningless time I imagine.

Yes. That's it.
If i need 10 years to loose a pattern of thinking i'm used to since 30 years, i could be glad.
It's a training, not a change by snap of the fingers. :twothumbsup:
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
User avatar
Ayu
 
Posts: 828
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: Thinking

Postby xtracorrupt » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:57 pm

Does the thought enforce restriction, incapability?

Do not let one believe incapability is necessary, as we can do as we wish because we do not need to be restricted phenomenally
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.
xtracorrupt
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:53 pm

Previous

Return to Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

>