How to change old behavioral patterns?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby wizi » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:44 am

Just like to find out from mature meditators how they have come to change some common old behavioral patterns (examples given below) through their practice?

Please share your experiences on you changed some of your own habit patterns? What did it take for you to overcome these through your practice? :anjali:
All beings like yourself are responsible for their own actions. Suffering or happiness is created through one's relationship to experience, not by experience itself. Although I wish only the best for you, I know that your happiness or unhappiness depends on your actions, not on my wishes for you.
May you not be caught in reactivity.
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:51 am

Maintaining your practice everyday you are putting one foot in front of the other on the path. Its the constant application as well as retreat experiences that are for your long term benefit. Just keep practicing wizi and you will do fine.
kind regards,

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

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby piotr » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:56 am

Hi,

You may find this dhamma-talks helpful: http://dhammatalks.org/TopicalDhammaCollections.html (under “Breaking Old Habits” heading). It seems to me that Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu is a “mature meditator”. ;)
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby PeterB » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:46 pm

I would offer two strategies to consider, or three if the two are combined.
The first is discursive, When the behaviour arises we can remind oneself of the likely outcome.
We know that this and this behaviour leads to that and that outcome.
We sometimes need to keep reminding ourselves of the consequences.that certain outcomes follow just a wheel follows the bullock that pulls the cart as the Buddha says.
In the heat of the moment it is not always easy to think logically.
For that reason another strategy might be considered.
It is to see without judgement..choicelessly, exactly when an impulse or urge arises.
It is not necessary to analyse each impulse discursively...just to turn the spotlight of consciousness on to each embryonic impulse. Using the vehicle of the breath.
At first this is hard work ..in fact its a slog. But after a while we internalise the process and it takes care of itself with occasion touches on the tiller.
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby chownah » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:22 pm

I think that doing the same thing again and again is a "behavior pattern" only if it is done mindlessly......I think that being mindful and doing things again and again does not create a "behavior pattern" even though there is a pattern to our behavior.....in this context all behavior patterns should be uprooted......in my life a key part of changing a "behavior pattern" was to become mindful of it especially while it is happening......I often would institute a new "behavior pattern" to vanquish the old one.....I think the Buddha teaches to eliminate all "behavior patterns".....
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:51 pm

My best companion when it comes to changing old habits:

The Vitakkasantana sutta (Relaxation of thought)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Combined with mindfulness of thought:

[3] "Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media? There is the case where he discerns the eye, he discerns forms, he discerns the fetter that arises dependent on both. He discerns how there is the arising of an unarisen fetter. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of a fetter once it has arisen. And he discerns how there is no future arising of a fetter that has been abandoned. (The same formula is repeated for the remaining sense media: ear, nose, tongue, body, & intellect.)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby jackson » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:35 pm

Greetings wizi,
I don't consider myself a mature meditator, but I do have a practice which has benefited me that I'd like to share... I've found one of the keys to changing ingrained patterns is to observe cause and effect, notice if the thought, speech, or action led to good results or bad, and based on that make a determination to repeat it or refrain from repeating it.
Best wishes, :smile:
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby ground » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:21 am

"And how does one not live at home? Any desire, passion, delight, craving, any attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions with regard to the property of form: these the Tathagata has abandoned, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore the Tathagata is said to be not dwelling at home.

"Any desire, passion, delight, craving, any attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases or obsessions with regard to the property of feeling... perception... fabrication...

"Any desire, passion, delight, craving, any attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases or obsessions with regard to the property of consciousness: these the Tathagata has abandoned, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore the Tathagata is said to be not dwelling at home.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Kind regards
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby halaha » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:47 am

I am not a mature meditator myself but I have found chanting the nine qualities of the Buddha "Itipiso baghava aranham ...." That Blessed One is such since He is (1) Accomplished, (2) Perfectly Enlightened, (3) Endowed with knowledge and Conduct or Practice, (4) Well-gone or Well- spoken, (5) the Knower of worlds, (6) the Guide Unsurpassed of men to be tamed, (7) the Teacher of gods and men, (8) Enlightened, and (9) Blessed. whenever I am about to show a undesired behavioural pattern.
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby BuddhaKurt » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:40 am

Greetings Wizi, I am quite familiar with habitual patterns of the mind. The best way to stop them is not to try and stop them. It's like falling in quicksand... the more you struggle to get out, the more you will sink. The way to not struggle is to just observe via Mindfulness. Since you asked the question, you have already observed, so continue to do so. Practice Mindfulness every minute of every day and your question will be answered. Have a great day!
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby wizi » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:21 pm

Thanks everyone! :anjali:

A fellow meditator shared this on her FB which seems quite appropriate to keep in mind for when those old behavioral patterns creep in ..

‎"Just when everything 'looks' and 'feels' comfortable and steady, pay attention as something major is about to change. Comfort zones are not places we grow and learn in!"

What do you think of that?
All beings like yourself are responsible for their own actions. Suffering or happiness is created through one's relationship to experience, not by experience itself. Although I wish only the best for you, I know that your happiness or unhappiness depends on your actions, not on my wishes for you.
May you not be caught in reactivity.
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:19 pm

I'm a big believer is using solutions regardless of their source. If a Buddhist solutions works the best for me, I use it, if not, so be it. I've read a number of books on REBT ( Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy ) and CBT ( Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ), both of which are all about changing habit patterns.

All of the authors place strong emphasis on accepting that you are not perfect, that back sliding will happen and on being very positive about picking youself up quickly to try again once you find yourself backsliding.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby wizi » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:38 pm

What can one find more information about REBT and CBT ?

Actually, the more practical question i have is also how to help a loved one change their old behavioral patterns? Especially an ageing parent who can't seem to find a way "in" to meditation nor find the requisite will to seek help in behavioral therapies?
All beings like yourself are responsible for their own actions. Suffering or happiness is created through one's relationship to experience, not by experience itself. Although I wish only the best for you, I know that your happiness or unhappiness depends on your actions, not on my wishes for you.
May you not be caught in reactivity.
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:56 pm

wizi wrote:What can one find more information about REBT and CBT ?


The best piece of writing on the subject, free or non-free and it is brief:
Introduction To REBT

The single best book on the subject of REBT:
Guide To Rational Living


Actually, the more practical question i have is also how to help a loved one change their old behavioral patterns?


You can't.

People have to change under their own motivation.

All you can do is make the case to them once or twice ( pushing the issue beyond that will just push them away and frustrate you ) and then leave them alone.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby daverupa » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:32 pm

wizi wrote:Actually, the more practical question i have is also how to help a loved one change their old behavioral patterns? Especially an ageing parent who can't seem to find a way "in" to meditation nor find the requisite will to seek help in behavioral therapies?


Without "requisite will", nothing offered will be of any use. It seems to be a request to find something that not only provides efficacious behavioral helps, but also works irrespective of the personal choice to engage with the material. Such a thing doesn't exist.

:heart:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:49 pm

wizi wrote:Actually, the more practical question i have is also how to help a loved one change their old behavioral patterns?

By concentrating on eradicating your own defilements. The source of your misery is within - not outside.
kind regards

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

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby rowboat » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:38 pm

Ben: Maintaining your practice everyday you are putting one foot in front of the other on the path. Its the constant application as well as retreat experiences that are for your long term benefit.


That's right. And with mindfulness you will be able to note certain types of arising thoughts and you can be aware of the birth/becoming factor such thoughts play in terms of behavior when they are not recognized or noted. This is the short-term stopping work of day-to-day practice. But to uproot such mental defilements, daily persistence built upon a foundation of retreats and good instruction are just the thing.
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby Soe Win Htut » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:23 am

Please do not reject nor indulge the old behavioral patterns.

In fact, old behavioral patterns are arising from mind-creation or mind actions.

So Abandon the mind-action(the attitude) of emphasizing and centering the old behavioral patterns as reality and importance by remembering the truth of old behavioral patterns or created truths again and again.

The truth of old behavioral patterns or created truths is that the old behavioral patterns or created truths are NOT FOR attaching, thinking and confirming as reality or real existence because old behavioral patterns and created truths are impermanent, unsatistactory and non-self.

Listen & follow the below mp3 talks regularly till the old habit you want to change is changed.
http://onlymiddleway.multiply.com/music ... talk_05-11
Awareness(mental noting) alone is not enough for real enlightenment. (Ashin Tejaniya)
Created truths(Sammuti Sacca) are just to be used only, experienced only and known only but .....they are not for noting, believing, confirming, centering and thinking as reality and real importance.
Vipassana (Insight meditation) is just the abandoning the mind-action of centering, grasping, confirming, and attaching the created truths as reality and as of real importance.
To Learn more....
http://www.thabarwa.org, or
http://www.thabarwa.org/guided-insight-mp3-talks/
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby Cilla » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:35 am

People have to arrive by themselves at the decision to change. If your old parent is not interested in meditation then there is nothing you can do. Well all you can do is be an example. Is she/he doesn't want to see and replicate your example, you just have to accept it. Try to be compassionate. iT is harder to change older people apparently. All willingness to change has to come from within. Let it go. Let your parent do what they want. If you don't like what they do to you, you just have to find a way to handle it differently within yourself. I know this is not easy. I have a problem wiht a family member too. I'd like her to take up meditation so i am gently nudging her in the direction. But she's very busy and may not ever decide to take it up. I have to accept that and just try to find other ways to get along with her rather than hoping she will change as well as me.
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Re: How to change old behavioral patterns?

Postby befriend » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:45 am

just recently i overcame, extreme OCD like symptoms, which were a lot more severe than washing you hands 30 times a day. how i change my behavior was to just stay busy. i wake up shower, do the dishes, and i dont stop till the sun goes down. now i have no negative symptoms or any mental problems. meditation isnt the only way to help your well being, we have more than minds and hearts, we have bodies too. metta, befriend
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