YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately - Dhamma Wheel

Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
User avatar
Ytrog
Posts: 693
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: The Netherlands, near Arnhem
Contact:

Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby Ytrog » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:24 am

I have a problem in meditation, but I don't really know if it is a problem or not:

When I meditate my mind sometimes wanders off (this is not the problem though), however as soon as I'm aware of it the thought stops directly and I'm unable to observe it. It doesn't seem to be participatory observation to me.
Is this a problem? Is this perhaps normal? If not: what can I do about it.

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:56 am

“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]..

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:23 pm

"What was that thought" is, itself, a thought, so the thought being chased away is being chased away by more thinking, I'm going to guess. Perhaps you mean that in attending to the thought there is silence there, but I doubt that as it wouldn't likely have been seen as a problem. So, since there is still thinking, you haven't lost the thought, it just changed. The mind changes so fast, there is no metaphor for that.

There aren't discreet "thoughts" to catch so much as "the thinking process" (citta) to be sensitive to, allowing one to gladden it, THEN steady it, THEN release it.

Of course all of it with the caveat that I'm not experiencing what you are, only comparing your description to experiences I do know.

:heart:

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby kirk5a » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:29 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

User avatar
Monkey
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:00 am

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby Monkey » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:46 pm

I once heared the following which might be helpful: if you are observing thoughts, then you'll notice that there is a gap in between the thoughts (after the last thought ended and when the next thought hasn't arisen yet). Simply observe the thought when there is one and rest in the gaps between the thoughts.

I guess it's a good sign that the thought desolves once you observe it (as all the things you observe will do eventually).

It's the same idea as observing the breath. Between the out-breath and the in-breath there is a little gap. Simply observe the breath and rest in the gaps.

I agree with Ben though, ask your teacher or people who practice this.

Cheerios

User avatar
Ytrog
Posts: 693
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: The Netherlands, near Arnhem
Contact:

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby Ytrog » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:23 pm


User avatar
bodom
Posts: 5713
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby bodom » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:35 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

User avatar
Ytrog
Posts: 693
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: The Netherlands, near Arnhem
Contact:

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby Ytrog » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:48 pm

I remember that part. So, I'm catching things as they are almost gone anyway. That explains some things. Luckily there are a lot of thoughts and feelings outside of daydreaming that I can see from (conscious) beginning to end. :)

User avatar
Monkey
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:00 am

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby Monkey » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:53 pm

"the moment I become aware of the thinking the thought drops dead into silence. So, this isn't a problem?"

I think a lot of people would consider this bit of silence in your mind a blessing Ytrog. Enjoy that silence :smile:

"Since mental states arise first in the unconscious, to catch the arising of the mental state, you've got to extend your awareness down into this unconscious area. That is difficult, because you can't see what is going on down there, at least not in the same way you see a conscious thought. But you can learn to get a vague sense of movement and to operate by a sort of mental sense of touch. This comes with practice, and the ability is another of the effects of the deep calm of concentration. Concentration slows down the arising of these mental states and gives you time to feel each one arising out of the unconscious even before you see it in consciousness. Concentration helps you to extend your awareness down into that boiling darkness where thought and sensation begin."

If you rest in those gaps, or that silence in between the thought, you'll can notice that the silence is being disturbed before you have an actual thought. That would be the vague sense of movement on the text above I think.

User avatar
Ytrog
Posts: 693
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: The Netherlands, near Arnhem
Contact:

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby Ytrog » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:07 pm


User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1684
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:26 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

User avatar
Ytrog
Posts: 693
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: The Netherlands, near Arnhem
Contact:

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby Ytrog » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:42 pm

The problem though is that most of the time that i'm lost in thoughts it is inner chatter, so it stops immediately upon observation. Bit like if a bodyguard drops in when it sees it and drags it away before you can blink your eye.

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1684
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:44 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

User avatar
Ytrog
Posts: 693
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: The Netherlands, near Arnhem
Contact:

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby Ytrog » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:16 pm

I was wondering if it was a problem or just normal.

Normal?

Freawaru
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby Freawaru » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:57 pm


User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1684
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:48 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:49 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:25 am


User avatar
zavk
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby zavk » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:48 am

Hi Ytrog

My attitude towards this is summed up very nicely by Joseph Goldstein in a Dhamma talk (sorry can't remember which one) I heard. He more or less suggests that we do not think of meditation as an exercise in silencing or stopping thoughts. Rather, it is about developing a different relationship with thoughts--not grasping or chasing after them, and certainly not identifying with them. In my limited experience, this recognition of the restless mind, of the ceaseless movement of thought, is in itself the thrust of the practice. In the past, I used to get upset with myself when I notice the restless mind--I'd think, 'Man, my mind is not settling down.' But in time, I've learnt to let go of such an expectation and simply observe the mind as it plays itself out. By simply accepting the restless mind as it is, without expecting thoughts to stop, I've found that I've been able to relate to my practice with greater ease, and also begin to take joy in sitting.

Of course I'm aware that according to certain teachings, it is said that as the mind becomes more and more concentrated, the mind would become very still. I have not acquired this level of proficiency so I can't comment. Such as it is, I'm happy to simply accept as it is that the mind is restless, that thoughts would constantly arise, and to return to the object of attention over and over again--this is more than enough for me to handle at this stage!

All the best.
With metta,
zavk

phil
Posts: 788
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:08 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: Observing a wandering mind stops the thought immediately

Postby phil » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:24 am

Hi, forgive me for not having read the whole thread, but is there likely to be any value in the content of all that mental dross that runs off during meditation? Well, I guess there could be noting of which defilements were at work behind the thoughts, but won't that just create more web spinning? Any valyable insights will rearise, I think. Then again, I am more a tranquility meditator than vip.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)


Return to “Vipassanā / Satipaṭṭhāna Bhāvana”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine