crushing bad mind with good mind

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SarathW
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Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by SarathW »

Hi Mal
Clenching teeth is the last resort.
This is the Sutta reference addressing your point.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Mkoll
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Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by Mkoll »

Here's a different translation of this practice from a different Early Buddhist school---hope it's not too much of a faux pas to quote it here in the hope that it may help others. It's from the Sarvastivada version of the Kayagatasati sutta, found in the book Mindfulness in Early Buddhism by Tse-fu Kuan on p. 157.
Again, a monk practices mindfulness of the body. A monk, with his teeth clenched and his tongue pressed against the palate, restrains one mental state with [another] mental state, severs and extinguishes [another mental state]. Just as two strong men seize a feeble man, grasping him randomly by any part [of his body] and beating him at will, so a monk, with his teeth clenched and his tongue pressed against the palate, restrains one mental state with [another] mental state, severs and extinguishes [another mental state].
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
philosopher
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Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by philosopher »

There's a talk by Shaila Catherine titled "How to Work with Distracting Thoughts" (http://imsb.org/prev/teachings/audio.php) in which she discusses the quoted method, along with others given by the Buddha and modern dhamma teachers. Listen to the talk; she gives precise instructions for using this method practically.

From my understanding, the "clenching" refers to a firm resolution to absolutely not think the thought; this helps to overcome that last bit of habit that is remaining after all the other methods previously mentioned have been tried.



:anjali:
mal4mac
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Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by mal4mac »

SarathW wrote:Hi Mal
Clenching teeth is the last resort.
This is the Sutta reference addressing your point.

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


"There is the case where evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion, or delusion — arise in a monk while he is referring to and attending to a particular theme. He should attend to another theme, apart from that one, connected with what is skillful. When he is attending to this other theme, apart from that one, connected with what is skillful, then those evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion, or delusion — are abandoned and subside.
What are the most skilful themes? I had some bad memories running through my mind this morning, but they subsided when I started reading a dhamma book. So this certainly works!

But I think you need to be very careful about using novels or drama, even if fairly highbrow. For instance I watched a TV drama on "the Bloomsbury group" yesterday which brought up some bad thoughts, and maybe unconsciously inspired the bad ones this morning! If I'd tried reading a novel to "change the theme" it might just have proliferated the bad thoughts.
"If evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion, or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is attending to this other theme, connected with what is skillful, he should scrutinize the drawbacks of those thoughts: 'Truly, these thoughts of mine are unskillful, these thoughts of mine are blameworthy, these thoughts of mine result in stress.' As he is scrutinizing the drawbacks of those thoughts, those evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion, or delusion — are abandoned and subside.
Is it sati that is being recommended here? That is, really paying close, continuous, attention to the thoughts and seeing their unskillfullness?
"If evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is scrutinizing the drawbacks of those thoughts, he should pay no mind and pay no attention to those thoughts. As he is paying no mind and paying no attention to them, those evil, unskillful thoughts are abandoned and subside.
Isn't this difficult or nearly impossible to do? At least for a layman...
"If evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is paying no mind and paying no attention to those thoughts, he should attend to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts.
Again, sounds difficult! Can a layman dig in there and throw a spanner in the bad thought production machine?
"If evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is attending to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts, then — with his teeth clenched and his tongue pressed against the roof of his mouth — he should beat down, constrain, and crush his mind with his awareness. As — with his teeth clenched and his tongue pressed against the roof of his mouth — he is beating down, constraining, and crushing his mind with his awareness, those evil, unskillful thoughts are abandoned and subside.
So is he saying use all your energy to become *really* aware of the bad thoughts and feelings? Then they might go... but what if they don't? i did try and explore my bad feelings this morning with heightened awareness, but they still remained. Again, isn't this super-power crushing awareness a bit beyond a layman?

In summary, I don't think 'crushing my mind' is for me. I'll read a nice dhamma book instead :reading:, or ramp up another of my (mediocre) attempts at Satipatthana :juggling: - these two techniques seem to work for me, or at least keep the bad thoughts down to bearable levels, which is "enough".
- Mal
mal4mac
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Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by mal4mac »

Mkoll wrote:Here's a different translation of this practice from a different Early Buddhist school. It's from the Sarvastivada version of the Kayagatasati sutta, found in the book Mindfulness in Early Buddhism by Tse-fu Kuan on p. 157.
Again, a monk practices mindfulness of the body. A monk, with his teeth clenched and his tongue pressed against the palate, restrains one mental state with [another] mental state, severs and extinguishes [another mental state]. Just as two strong men seize a feeble man, grasping him randomly by any part [of his body] and beating him at will, so a monk, with his teeth clenched and his tongue pressed against the palate, restrains one mental state with [another] mental state, severs and extinguishes [another mental state].
Interesting! But it begs a lot of questions. What particular skilful mental state might be capable of dealing with a particular negative mental state? How Is "restraint" applied?

In dealing with a failed love affair I have applied "stoic" antidotes (reflecting that love affairs are indifferent matter...) with Buddhist antidotes (just let go...) This kind of works, but bad thoughts do keep coming back. What this quote seems to be implying is that I should use all my energy to hold the stoic/Buddhist antidotes in mind, then the bad thoughts/feelings should be incinerated. Might work... I'll try it if the thoughts/feelings get really bad.
- Mal
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Mkoll
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Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by Mkoll »

mal4mac wrote:
Mkoll wrote:Here's a different translation of this practice from a different Early Buddhist school. It's from the Sarvastivada version of the Kayagatasati sutta, found in the book Mindfulness in Early Buddhism by Tse-fu Kuan on p. 157.
Again, a monk practices mindfulness of the body. A monk, with his teeth clenched and his tongue pressed against the palate, restrains one mental state with [another] mental state, severs and extinguishes [another mental state]. Just as two strong men seize a feeble man, grasping him randomly by any part [of his body] and beating him at will, so a monk, with his teeth clenched and his tongue pressed against the palate, restrains one mental state with [another] mental state, severs and extinguishes [another mental state].
Interesting! But it begs a lot of questions. What particular skilful mental state might be capable of dealing with a particular negative mental state? How Is "restraint" applied?

In dealing with a failed love affair I have applied "stoic" antidotes (reflecting that love affairs are indifferent matter...) with Buddhist antidotes (just let go...) This kind of works, but bad thoughts do keep coming back. What this quote seems to be implying is that I should use all my energy to hold the stoic/Buddhist antidotes in mind, then the bad thoughts/feelings should be incinerated. Might work... I'll try it if the thoughts/feelings get really bad.
Hi mal4mac,

Regarding love and how to approach it from a Buddhist POV, I highly recommend Ajahn Jayasaro's On Love. It's a quick and very beneficial read. I hope it is helpful.

With metta,

James
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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anthbrown84
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Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by anthbrown84 »

My question relevant to this is, what if the unwholesome thought is a way of ouncishing yourself to damn you into a bad rebirth

i have this issue... to punish myself i think very quickly so i cant stop it, baf thoughts about thw Buddha... its my subconciouses.way of really hurting myself by trying to force me into a bad rebirth... i cant surely just leave this? cant people go.to hell for thinking bad things about the Buddha?
I mean really bad things :( it saddens me as im conciously so devoted to the triple gem
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate
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