Mindfulness vs Analysis

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
thoth
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Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby thoth » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:30 pm

Hi Guys,

I had a thought some time ago that seems worth discussing...

Cultivating mindfulness or zen-like awareness of the moment is all very good, but is mindfulness alone really practical in a civilized society?

I will explain what I mean here. Suppose the activity of the mind is like the ripples on the surface of a pond, tossed about by the winds of mental karma; meditation can help purify this karma, help one see what is in the pond without distortion - but what then?

Just seeing is not good enough - you have to apply reason at some point if you want to understand a thing - whatever the object of meditation.

I get the impression that mindfulness and the more discursive faculties are somewhat in opposition... they conflict, and yet one cannot exist without the other.

What is the official Buddhist take on this?

Thanks.

Jinzang
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby Jinzang » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:30 am

How mindfulness is combined with analysis differs from tradition to tradition. Generally speaking though, you need strong shamatha meditation before starting analysis. Prematurely engaging in analysis will not lead to success. Since most people have not mastered shamatha, that is where the emphasis should be. It also bears saying that one doesn't analyze the mind the way one analyzes an external object, because you can't stand apart from your mind to look at it.
"It's as plain as the nose on your face!"

thoth
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby thoth » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:32 pm


Jinzang
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby Jinzang » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:44 am

It's possible to obsess on a subject when you are meditating, especially if it's an intense retreat. Usually, though, these obsessions build up to a point and then deflate. Our minds are very unstable, we laugh one minute and cry the next. Meditation really doesn't change that. Generally when one has meditated for a while, one develops a degree of detachment from one's thoughts and emotions. You've become familar with them and it's like, "There I go again."

Theorizing what meditation might be like doesn't work very well. There are too many suppositions one has about what the mind is like and how it works that are actually false. Meditation needs to be practiced, not thought about.
"It's as plain as the nose on your face!"

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Grigoris
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby Grigoris » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:20 am

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Wayfarer
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:11 am

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

Jnana
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby Jnana » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:55 am


5heaps
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby 5heaps » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:37 pm


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mandala
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby mandala » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:52 pm


TaTa
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby TaTa » Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:38 pm

This brings up a question of mine.

Is analitcal meditation always considered discursive? I mean. We can analize our minds without asking questions in the form of internal talk. For example watching where thoughts arise from, stay and cease without asking " where do thoughts arise from". Is this discursive lagtong?

Jnana
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby Jnana » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:56 pm


TaTa
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby TaTa » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:18 pm


Jnana
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby Jnana » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:55 pm


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Sara H
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby Sara H » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:52 am

Hi Thoth,

No, they don't oppose each other.
I have been an analyst my entire life, just naturally.
I am now going to college to do just that professionally.

It doesn't stand against each other.

The brain has a purpose and a job, just like our musscles do or our bones, or eyes, flesh, etc.

Being mindful of things that the analytical brain makes us aware of is very helpful.

In Gasshō,

Sara


BTW, if you are THE Thoth (the performer), we've met each other in real life in Mt. Shasta, through a mutual friend, David.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

TaTa
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby TaTa » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:21 am


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seeker242
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby seeker242 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:50 am

One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

Simon E.
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby Simon E. » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:06 pm

Precisely so.
Mindful reasoning and analysis are likely to be more effective than unmindful processes.
Mindfulness and cognitive processes are not an either/or.
" My heart's in the Highlands
my heart is not here.
My heart's in the Highlands
chasing the deer."

Robert V.C. Burns.

In the bone yard
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby In the bone yard » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:32 pm

Mindfulness is Shamatha and Vipasyana is awareness.
You don't want to foster thought during meditation, so how could analysis or being analytical help your meditation?

Also the merit aspect is missing so important to start by refraining from the 10 acts.

greentara
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby greentara » Mon May 06, 2013 1:58 pm

Ling You, a Chinese Sage warns us that false thinking is so deep rooted that it cannot be dissipated in an instant. For this reason expedient methods are used to strip the mind.

In the bone yard
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Re: Mindfulness vs Analysis

Postby In the bone yard » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:42 pm

Expedient methods of meditation, yes.
It's a good thing we have different schools for the different capacities and karmas of mind! :smile:


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