Does the awakened mind "think"?

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Does the awakened mind "think"?

Postby Coyote » Sun May 06, 2012 3:31 pm

Reading Ajahn Chah, he mentions that the Buddha "stopped thinking". How is this to be understood in the Theravada framework? I am still very new to Pali terms, abhidammma and commentary and so on, and often the original term (in this case) has not been provided. Any insights, suttas, abidhamma, commentary passages that would help me understand would be greatly appreciated. I want to deepen my understanding of the Theravada philosophical framework.
My initial thoughts would be that because he no longer clings to the Khandhas, no Sankharas arise, and yet he does not wink out of existance at the moment of Awakening, because we say that there is Nibbana "with remainder". Why is there no thinking then?
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Does the awakened mind "think"?

Postby bodom » Sun May 06, 2012 4:00 pm

FYI here is the passage in question in which Ajahn Chah is giving meditation instructions:

At this stage you don't need to think. You've already done a great deal of thinking at home, haven't you? It just stirs up the heart. You must establish some awareness. Obsessive thinking can even bring you tears, just try it out. Getting lost in some train of thought won't lead you to the truth, it's not wisdom. The Buddha was a very wise person, he'd learned how to stop thinking. In the same way you are practicing here in order to stop thinking and thereby arrive at peace. If you are already calm it is not necessary to think, wisdom will arise in its place.


Meditation
http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Meditation1.php

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Does the awakened mind "think"?

Postby Coyote » Sun May 06, 2012 4:29 pm

Thanks! I also recall that he says somthing similar in "Food for the Heart", but I can't remember where.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Does the awakened mind "think"?

Postby bodom » Sun May 06, 2012 4:39 pm

Coyote wrote:..he says somthing similar in "Food for the Heart..


All beings, including humans, tend to see the arising as themselves, the existence as themselves, and the cessation as themselves. Thus they cling to everything. They don't want things to be the way they are, they don't want them to be otherwise. For instance, having arisen they don't want things to cease; having experienced happiness, they don't want suffering. If suffering does arise they want it to go away as quickly as possible, but even better if it doesn't arise at all. This is because they see this body and mind as themselves, or belonging to themselves, and so they demand those things to follow their wishes.

This sort of thinking is like building a dam or a dike without making an outlet to let the water through. The result is that the dam bursts. And so it is with this kind of thinking. The Buddha saw that thinking in this way is the cause of suffering. Seeing this cause, the Buddha gave it up.


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Does the awakened mind "think"?

Postby bodom » Sun May 06, 2012 4:48 pm

Now that we have the context in which Ajahn Chah talked about the Buddha and the stopping of the thought process it would be good if any members could shed light on this matter from the classical Theravada point of view. Also just a reminder when quoting any passages from the tipitaka or commentaries to provide a source or reference.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Does the awakened mind "think"?

Postby Goofaholix » Sun May 06, 2012 7:52 pm

Ajahn Chah saiod "he learned how to stop thinking" he didn't say thinking no longer occurred.

So what he said was the Buddha had the ability to to prevent thought that was useless at the time, not that all thinking ceased forever as that would be brain dead.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Does the awakened mind "think"?

Postby reflection » Mon May 07, 2012 4:18 am

The thought he wants to think, that, he thinks; the thought he does not want to think, that, he does not think. He has cut down craving, removed the fetter, rightly mastered pride, and made an end of suffering.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el021.html


But most of our thoughts are actually quite fruitless, so naturally the mind of an awakened one will be very still. But what Ajahn Chah seemed to want to point out is that you can't think your way to peace/insight.
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Re: Does the awakened mind "think"?

Postby Coyote » Mon May 07, 2012 7:46 pm

Goofaholix wrote:Ajahn Chah saiod "he learned how to stop thinking" he didn't say thinking no longer occurred.

So what he said was the Buddha had the ability to to prevent thought that was useless at the time, not that all thinking ceased forever as that would be brain dead.


I see now. My mistake, I thought he was referring to the cessation of the though proccess at Nibbana. Makes a lot more sense now.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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