Thoughts, intentions and wishes during meditation

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Post Reply
Mangaka
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:57 am

Thoughts, intentions and wishes during meditation

Post by Mangaka »

Hello everyone, I would like to ask you for help.
I'm trying to share goodness through mettā meditation and also to develop mettā in myself. Some time ago I realized a big problem in myself... fear from doing bad and wrong things... I know, it looks like nothing bad but...
There are sometimes thoughts in my mind both during meditation and without meditation(I think because of those fears). For example when I sharing mettā from my heart with pure and good intentions then mind appears with thoughs like:
Do you share only good wishes? What if not? And what if...

Then mind projects bad thoughts sometimes almost like from some evil movie... Simply said I know that I don't want to wish or do anything bad to anyone, but mind shows me those things... I know it isn't real intention but sometimes mind is strong so much so it looks like intention...
Does it mean bad kamma for me or something bad for someone etc.?
User avatar
mjaviem
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:06 pm

Re: Thoughts, intentions and wishes during meditation

Post by mjaviem »

You are not sending anything to anyone. It all stays with you.

I would say you need to work hard to crush that ill will arising for your own sake and to the sake of your actions. Good for you you are doing loving-kindness meditation. Ill-will won't stay there for ever. Keep up with your good practice.
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambuddhassa
User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 8123
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Thoughts, intentions and wishes during meditation

Post by Sam Vara »

Mangaka wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:21 pm Hello everyone, I would like to ask you for help.
I'm trying to share goodness through mettā meditation and also to develop mettā in myself. Some time ago I realized a big problem in myself... fear from doing bad and wrong things... I know, it looks like nothing bad but...
There are sometimes thoughts in my mind both during meditation and without meditation(I think because of those fears). For example when I sharing mettā from my heart with pure and good intentions then mind appears with thoughs like:
Do you share only good wishes? What if not? And what if...

Then mind projects bad thoughts sometimes almost like from some evil movie... Simply said I know that I don't want to wish or do anything bad to anyone, but mind shows me those things... I know it isn't real intention but sometimes mind is strong so much so it looks like intention...
Does it mean bad kamma for me or something bad for someone etc.?
That all sounds absolutely normal. It's a good lesson in how the mind is not completely under control, and how we can't simply have the feelings, thoughts, intentions and experiences we want, just by wishing.
Feeling is nonself…. … Perception is nonself…. Volitional formations are nonself…. Consciousness is nonself. For if, bhikkhus, consciousness were self, this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and it would be possible to have it of consciousness: ‘Let my consciousness be thus; let my consciousness not be thus.’ But because consciousness is nonself, consciousness leads to affliction, and it is not possible to have it of consciousness: ‘Let my consciousness be thus; let my consciousness not be thus
https://suttacentral.net/sn22.59/en/bodhi

The mind has a momentum of its own, and most of us have built up tendencies which disturb us from time to time, either in meditation or in daily life. My advice is to simply see these as thoughts which temporarily arise, and which you find disturbing; and then to direct mettā to yourself, as someone who is a bit disturbed by their lack of progress, and who wants their mind to be different.

It's not really bad kamma unless you dwell on these thoughts, and actively intend harm to others. Treat them as something that you haven't willed into existence, and are not welcoming or hoping for. And then develop mettā for yourself when you find them uncomfortable.
Mangaka
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:57 am

Re: Thoughts, intentions and wishes during meditation

Post by Mangaka »

Thank you for answers. So this practise is just for ourselves, to develop our good thinking and kindness which in future may help to people around us? In the past I thought it is like sending something to someone... not exactly like a golden fish wish but you know how I mean that...
So nothing to worry about and just to strive to develop myself?
Srilankaputra
Posts: 1163
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:56 am
Location: Sri Lanka

Re: Thoughts, intentions and wishes during meditation

Post by Srilankaputra »

You could learn to draw your heart inside. The skill of the tortoise. From here it is easier to develop whatever you wish, whether it be metta, anapanasati etc.
Once upon a time, mendicants, a tortoise was grazing along the bank of a river in the afternoon. At the same time, a jackal was also hunting along the river bank. The tortoise saw the jackal off in the distance hunting, so it drew its limbs and neck inside its shell, and kept passive and silent.

But the jackal also saw the tortoise off in the distance grazing. So it went up to the tortoise and waiting nearby, thinking, ‘When that tortoise sticks one or other of its limbs or neck out from its shell, I’ll grab it right there, rip it out, and eat it!’

But when that tortoise didn’t stick one or other of its limbs or neck out from its shell, the jackal left disappointed, since it couldn’t find a vulnerability.

In the same way, Māra the Wicked is always waiting nearby, thinking: ‘Hopefully I can find a vulnerability in the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind.’ That’s why you should live with sense doors guarded.

When you see a sight with your eyes, don’t get caught up in the features and details. If the faculty of sight were left unrestrained, bad unskillful qualities of desire and aversion would become overwhelming. For this reason, practice restraint, protecting the faculty of sight, and achieving its restraint.

When you hear a sound with your ears …

When you smell an odor with your nose …

When you taste a flavor with your tongue …

When you feel a touch with your body …

When you know a thought with your mind, don’t get caught up in the features and details. If the faculty of mind were left unrestrained, bad unskillful qualities of desire and aversion would become overwhelming. For this reason, practice restraint, protecting the faculty of mind, and achieving its restraint.

When you live with your sense doors restrained, Māra will leave you disappointed, since he can’t find a vulnerability, just like the jackal left the tortoise.
https://suttacentral.net/sn35.240/en/sujato

Lokāmisaṃ pajahe santipekkho ti
Post Reply