daydreams

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

daydreams

Postby befriend » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:50 pm

i know when we are in an angry mood thinking angry thoughts we apply techniques to pacify it. but what do we do with just a random fleeting involuntary thought such as, i hate this person? is anything needed to be done. we all have involuntary random negative thoughts that enter our mind through out the day, does anything need to be done about them?
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Re: daydreams

Postby Zenainder » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:59 pm

befriend wrote:i know when we are in an angry mood thinking angry thoughts we apply techniques to pacify it. but what do we do with just a random fleeting involuntary thought such as, i hate this person? is anything needed to be done. we all have involuntary random negative thoughts that enter our mind through out the day, does anything need to be done about them?


Follow the advice of your signature: be present.

Practically speaking I observe them objectively as though I was meditating, using the "noting" mantra of "disliking, disliking", etc. The majority of our thoughts are involuntary and are definitely absent of self. Even our "voluntary" thoughts have their conditions and causes --- still involuntary in the end. If you have feelings of animosity towards said person I would recommend practicing loving-compassion meditation with them in mind.

Continue in your mindfulness practice (via meditation and daily lay life). It can be done. The more simple your life is the better conditioned it'll be for continuous mindfulness.

Also, the practice is not about "pacifying" thoughts, but cultivating objectivity and insight through mindfulness, which leads eventually to unfettering. If you are attempting to pacify your anger you are not applying "right view" or "right concentration" as you are actively engaged in ignorance. Food for thought. Your animosity likely arises from self-preservation as you're conditioned with the wrong view that there is a self to be preserved. (At least this is how I have come to understand it in my own practice).

Metta,

Zen
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Re: daydreams

Postby befriend » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:44 pm

thank you. what if the negative thought has already passed and is gone, do we have to label it then?
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Re: daydreams

Postby Zenainder » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:11 pm

befriend wrote:thank you. what if the negative thought has already passed and is gone, do we have to label it then?


You are very welcome! If it arises and ceases before you realize it had arisen chances are you will find yourself engaged in it (i.e. mindfulness was not present). Do not be discouraged if you realize "dang it! I was not mindful!" it is a good thing you are aware of that, keep practicing! Since it is daily living do the best you can and be present in what you are doing. For instance if you are washing the dishes, be present in the process of washing the dishes. As thoughts arise, as you would in meditation, "note" them as they arise, watch them as they cease. Return your present awareness to the dish you are washing. Do this even with "good" thoughts!!!!

It can become rather ambigious in more advance situations, if you can establish a foundation of mindfulness in the simple tasks found in breathing or walking meditation as you live life mindfully the more advanced tasks (such as social engagements, work, etc.) you will find a middle path of mindfulness naturally. I always recommend simplyfing life while following the five precepts which will aide your practice.

In my practice I have found that fretting mindfullness is not mindfullness. Utilize the zeal and inspiriation you have for meditation and diligently apply what you can in daily life. It takes time and practice. Do not expect yourself to be astutely capable of mindfulness in daily life if you are struggling while on the pillow. And always remember that how you live and meditation support one another.

Hopefully that helps. This is, of course, to my own understanding. It would not surprise me if there are those here with even more insight.

Zen
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Re: daydreams

Postby befriend » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:57 pm

so dont worry about the thought you werent mindful of and just keep practicing mindfulness on and off the cushion.
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Re: daydreams

Postby Coyote » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:02 pm

If the angry thought has gone, but you still have it in mind, you could always note "remembering, remembering" until it is gone. Often I find an unwholesome thought comes back in a sense as I remember it involuntarily. Or if you have a chain of thought leading on from it, e.g why did I think that?, I wasn't being mindful!, I should be more careful next time ect. you could establish mindfulness on that.
Commentary states that mindfulness can never be 100% in the present moment due to momentariness (not to say it isn't practically in the present moment), so if you are so inclined bear that in mind.
"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."
Iti 26
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Re: daydreams

Postby Zenainder » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:26 pm

befriend wrote:so dont worry about the thought you werent mindful of and just keep practicing mindfulness on and off the cushion.


The process as I understand it is:

Contact: with said person happens.
Feeling: Anger arises.
Craving: I wish said person would not do that or I wish said person would just die.
Grasping: I will see to it that he doesn't! Or feeling angry is bad so I will avoid feeling angry.
Becoming: I aggressively act towards said person or I act to avert the negative thoughts.
Birth: A situation occurs between you and said person or negative thoughts averted but they keep returning.
Suffering: You and said person are entangled in social retribution and hurt one another or the returning negative thoughts frustrate / annoy / pester you.
Cycle

This is likely an over-simplification, but it is likely if you are trying to be mindful in your daily life that ignorant of the feeling arising you realize in the middle of grasping that "wait a second, damn it! I am not being mindful". I typically make note of where I was in the entangled mess of thoughts, or in this case "planning, planning, planning" to create an objective awareness of it. Upon successful mindfulness you will see that it ceases just as it arises. And return your concentration to the task at hand.

Is that more helpful?
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Re: daydreams

Postby John1122 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:18 pm

Maybe your missing or forgetting something at the point of contact?
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Re: daydreams

Postby santa100 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:14 pm

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Re: daydreams

Postby pegembara » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:11 am

befriend wrote:i know when we are in an angry mood thinking angry thoughts we apply techniques to pacify it. but what do we do with just a random fleeting involuntary thought such as, i hate this person? is anything needed to be done. we all have involuntary random negative thoughts that enter our mind through out the day, does anything need to be done about them?


Just leave them be. They come and go and we don't have to have anything to do with them. By the way all thoughts are involuntary - so delete this message from your memory after reading if you can. :smile:
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: daydreams

Postby befriend » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:18 pm

is it necessary to return to a wholesome object after an akusala thought has arisen and left without my awareness of it, can i return to reading a book if i am reading? thank you.
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