What are you thinking while meditating?

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

Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby pegembara » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:59 am

Things arises and passes away.

'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.'
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:05 pm

reflection wrote: Thinking sucks.


It certainly makes my brain hurt. :jumping:
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:07 pm

pegembara wrote:'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.'


Do you mean using this like a mantra, or just as a response to thoughts and feelings arising?
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:16 pm

Viscid wrote:Discursive thinking in meditation has a rather undeserved poor reputation.


There seem to be many different approaches to meditation.
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:25 pm

porpoise wrote:
Viscid wrote:Discursive thinking in meditation has a rather undeserved poor reputation.

There seem to be many different approaches to meditation.

All emphasise awareness.
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby PeDr0 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:05 pm

What about asubha bhavana meditation, I have been told that this is a very important meditation practice, that definately involves thought. As does the metta bhavana.

Good question, it seems to me that everyone thinks they are an expert at meditation but no two people can agree on the correct methods.

:namaste:
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:31 pm

PeDr0 wrote:... it seems to me that everyone thinks they are an expert at meditation but no two people can agree on the correct methods.

I think there is agreement that methods differ, serve different purposes, yield different effects, but all access the same experience.

A particular method is correct only for its specific purpose.
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:36 pm

Hi PeDr0,
PeDr0 wrote:What about asubha bhavana meditation, I have been told that this is a very important meditation practice, that definately involves thought. As does the metta bhavana.

That's certainly true. Such practices certainly involve thinking and concepts.
PeDr0 wrote:Good question, it seems to me that everyone thinks they are an expert at meditation but no two people can agree on the correct methods.

This is partly because there are variety of methods, and the natural thing when one has learned a little is to think that one particular method is the only correct approach and/or all that is required.

:anjali:
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:12 am

dharmagoat wrote:A particular method is correct only for its specific purpose.


I agree, and it's good to be clear about what particular methods are for.
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:35 am

daverupa wrote: But this is absurd; so, of what benefit is this lack of thought, mentioned by so many?


Possibly because insight is non-conceptual and thinking gets in the way?
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby bodom » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:01 pm

porpoise wrote:
daverupa wrote: But this is absurd; so, of what benefit is this lack of thought, mentioned by so many?


Possibly because insight is non-conceptual and thinking gets in the way?


Thinking has gotten a bad rap, but the texts speak of three ways of developing wisdom, one of which is using conceptual thought. There is wisdom obtained from listening to others (suta-maya panna), wisdom obtained from one's own thinking (cinta-maya panna) and wisdom obtained by meditation (bhavana-maya panna).

Digha Nikaya #33: The Sangiti Sutta
http://levityisland.com/buddhadust/www. ... angiti.htm

: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: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby reflection » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:41 pm

My main practice is breath awareness, there I practice stilling the thoughts.

But I must say I agree with those who said that contemplation can also be very useful. And of course metta/compassion and the like, practices with a bit of thought (although you can also do them without). But these are greatly aided by stilling thoughts, because unrelated thoughts won't come up as easily. Also, these practices with discursive thoughts are mainly aimed at removing unwholesome thoughts, at least for me.

Because to really understand the mind, in my experience it has to be able to be silent. That's because thoughts disturb the mind. It's not clear, it can't really see itself. The stiller it is, the closer it gets to itself. So it's twofold. The peace is needed for strength, but also for insight.

So it's all interrelated.

I think this video is useful:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqb7ZuMI8HY
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby pegembara » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:21 am

porpoise wrote:
pegembara wrote:'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.'


Do you mean using this like a mantra, or just as a response to thoughts and feelings arising?


I use it as a way of viewing objects (sounds, sensations, thoughts etc) arising and passing away. To do that you need a certain degree of stillness/samadhi.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:30 am

bodom wrote:Thinking has gotten a bad rap, but the texts speak of three ways of developing wisdom, one of which is using conceptual thought. There is wisdom obtained from listening to others (suta-maya panna), wisdom obtained from one's own thinking (cinta-maya panna) and wisdom obtained by meditation (bhavana-maya panna).


Do you see these as a progression, ie first hearing, then internalising, then directly experiencing?
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby danieLion » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:41 am

while i'm meditating i think "...is this jhana? which jhana is this...?" you know, stuff like that...



just kidding

Best,
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:31 pm

danieLion wrote:while i'm meditating i think "...is this jhana? which jhana is this...?" you know, stuff like that...
just kidding


Yes, now you come to mention it.... :jumping:
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Re: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby bodom » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:30 pm

porpoise wrote:Do you see these as a progression, ie first hearing, then internalising, then directly experiencing?


This according to Goenka:

Sometimes we find in the texts a change in the order of suta-maya panna and cinta-maya panna. At times cinta-maya panna is mentioned first, followed by suta-maya panna and bhavana-maya panna. At times, suta-maya panna is followed by cinta-maya panna and bhavana-maya panna. But in both cases, bhavana-maya panna comes at the end and is of prime importance for the realisation of truth.


The rest of the article going into more detail found in this thread:

Experiential Wisdom: Bhavana-maya panna
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2170

: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: What are you thinking while meditating?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:37 am

bodom wrote:
porpoise wrote:Do you see these as a progression, ie first hearing, then internalising, then directly experiencing?


This according to Goenka:

Sometimes we find in the texts a change in the order of suta-maya panna and cinta-maya panna. At times cinta-maya panna is mentioned first, followed by suta-maya panna and bhavana-maya panna. At times, suta-maya panna is followed by cinta-maya panna and bhavana-maya panna. But in both cases, bhavana-maya panna comes at the end and is of prime importance for the realisation of truth.




Yes, I suppose in practice it's a circular activity - reading suttas, then thinking about them, then reading them again.
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