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Something popped up... - Dhamma Wheel

Something popped up...

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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catmoon
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Something popped up...

Postby catmoon » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:48 am

Lately, I've been having some success in quieting the mind. I seem to have discovered another layer of mental activity underlying the internal voice. Somehow or other I became aware that the mind usually exists in a "mood state" of one kind or another. This is something like a fish becoming aware that there is water.

These mood states are volitionally constructable, and can be destroyed by directing the attention to a new frame of mind. When this is done the old mood state vanishes, which suggests is is dependent on attention in some way. I have been experimenting with them, mostly outside of meditation. One of my favorites is one that arose spontaneously the other day - the mood state of a child, free of fear and responsibility, anticipating Christmas. It is a happy state.

I have also become aware of various afflictive states. These states are strongly biased towards disaster scenarios, anxiety, sadness, tiredness, cynicism and such. It is such a strange phenomenon - it's as if the mind was water and the mood states were variously shaped containers, and the mind took on the shape of whatever container it was poured into.

Does anyone else know what I'm talking about here? It seems to be a very useful bit of knowledge.

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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: Something popped up...

Postby Ben » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:21 am

Yes.
Well done Catmoon. You may wish to review the satipatthana sutta and in particular, the section on reflection on mental states: cittanupassana with an aim of incorporating those instructions into your practice.
metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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catmoon
Posts: 369
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Re: Something popped up...

Postby catmoon » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:29 am


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Guy
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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Something popped up...

Postby Guy » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:50 am

Hi Catmoon,

I have also been (re)discovering and playing with these sort of states lately both in and out of formal meditation. Just before I came online I was sitting outdoors doing nothing in particular just gazing at nature letting Metta flow to the animals that I saw which somehow reminded me of how a child's mind is; no agendas, just being content and happy in the present moment. I wasn't "doing" Metta meditation, it just happened on it's own. I take such experiences to be signs that I am heading in the right direction.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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catmoon
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Re: Something popped up...

Postby catmoon » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:22 am

Ok gave the sutra the once over.

Good heavens what a can of worms I have opened. I am no longer sure what exactly it is that I am perceiving: the sutra speaks in terms of more elemental things, I think. But I am sure of how these things are operating, so the remaining question is: what are they?

It all looks closely linked to the five aggregates. The "mood states" of which I spoke appear to be composed of every imaginable mix of emotion: or more accurately, they LEAD to every imaginable mix of emotion. It is as if they were fields of earth, and one could say, from this field will arise 10% wheat, 30% barley and 60% corn, while this other field will give rise almost entirely to peach trees....

What a fascinating business. My "mood states", from which moods and emotions arise, have an obvious element of self-conception in them, and they also have a strong appearance of inherent existence.

Well I think the best thing to do is to give this all a couple of days to sink in. The sutra implies about a bazillion ways of looking at these peculiar critters, so right now I am somewhat overwhelmed by all the possibilities. And I can't figure which comes first, self concept, afflictive emotion, or frame of mind. Maybe it's not important anyways.

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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: Something popped up...

Postby Ben » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:42 am

Absolutely, my observation is that moods are complex phenomenological events.
Certainly go with being aware and equanimous with quality of the state of mind without any attempt to change it.
metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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IanAnd
Posts: 403
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:19 am
Location: the deserts of Arizona

Re: Something popped up...

Postby IanAnd » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:44 pm

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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catmoon
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Re: Something popped up...

Postby catmoon » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:57 am


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IanAnd
Posts: 403
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:19 am
Location: the deserts of Arizona

Re: Something popped up...

Postby IanAnd » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:22 am

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV


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