Ytrog wrote:Wait a minute. So I try to be mindful of the mental chatter (these are the kind of thoughts that I mentioned earlier dropping dead, not the graphic ones) and it is not a really important thing to do?
You said you want to develop insight, well then observe the nature of mental chatter. Don't care for the content, because that's not important. If mental chatter drops dead when you are observing it mindfully then this actually is insight of its nature you can gain.
I totally agree with RYB
rowyourboat wrote:Just watching thoughts for the sake of watching is not particularly useful IMHO.
In the moment when the mind becomes aware of itself it stops unnecessary fabrications. This is why I said usually inner chatter stops naturally at this point. To be able to observe the content of inner chatter so that it won't stop it would be necessary to leave at least some "room" for the mind to "move on", namely to follow further fabrication of the inner voice conversation chain. The mind needs to follow the mental conversation or otherwise inner chatter just drops dead if the mind doesn't follow anymore. The higher the level of mindfulness develops the more the mind becomes aware of its occupations and the more the mind becomes aware of its occupations the less it wanders until the point where it drops every unnecessary occupation and settles down on knowing itself fully, calm and mindful. Being aware of everything that arises and ceases the mind remains unattached. It knows, without movement, it doesn't get drawn away.
Ajahn Brahm wrote:Basic Method of Meditation - Part 2 "Silence is so much more productive of wisdom and clarity than thinking"
It is helpful, here, to clarify the difference between silent awareness of the present moment and thinking about it. [...] You should realize that you are much closer to Truth when you observe without commentary, when you experience just the silent awareness of the present moment.
Sometimes it is through the inner commentary that we think we know the world. Actually, that inner speech does not know the world at all! It is the inner speech that weaves the delusions that cause suffering. It is the inner speech that causes us to be angry at those we make our enemies, and to have dangerous attachments to those we make our loved ones. Inner speech causes all of life's problems. It constructs fear and guilt. It creates anxiety and depression. It builds these illusions as surely as the skilful commentator on T.V. can manipulate an audience to create anger or tears. So if you seek for Truth, you should value silent awareness, considering it more important, when meditating, than any thought whatsoever.
It is the high value that one gives to one's thoughts that is the major obstacle to silent awareness. Carefully removing the importance one gives to one's thinking and realizing the value and truthfulness of silent awareness is the insight that makes this second stage -- silent awareness of the present moment -- possible.
One of the beautiful ways of overcoming the inner commentary is to develop such refined present moment awareness, that you are watching every moment so closely that you simply do not have the time to comment about what has just happened. A thought is often an opinion on what has just happened, e.g. "That was good", "That was gross", "What was that?" All of these comments are about an experience which has just passed by. When you are noting, making a comment about an experience which has just passed, then you are not paying attention to the experience which has just arrived. You are dealing with old visitors and neglecting the new visitors coming now!
You may imagine your mind to be a host at a party, meeting the guests as they come in the door. If one guest comes in and you meet them and start talking to them about this that or the other, then you are not doing your duty of paying attention to the new guest that comes in the door. Because a guest comes in the door every moment, all you can do is to greet one and then immediately go on to greet the next one. You cannot afford to engage in even the shortest conversation with any guest, since this would mean you will miss the one coming in next. In meditation, all experiences come through the door of our senses into the mind one by one in succession. If you greet one experience with mindfulness and then get into conversation with your guest, then you will miss the next experience following right behind.
When you are perfectly in the moment with every experience, with every guest which comes in your mind, then you just do not have the space for inner speech. You can not chatter to yourself because you are completely taken up with mindfully greeting everything just as it arrives in your mind. This is refined present moment awareness to the level that it becomes silent awareness of the present in every moment.
best wishes, acinteyyo