crushing bad mind with good mind

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.
befriend
Posts: 1775
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:39 am

crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by befriend »

how is this to be practiced practically? If evil, unskillful thoughts continue to arise in a bhikkhu in spite of his reflection on the removal of a source of unskillful thoughts, he should with clenched teeth and the tongue pressing on the palate, restrain, subdue and beat down the (evil) mind by the (good) mind. Then the evil, unskillful thoughts connected with desire, hate and delusion are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination, the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation).
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
SarathW
Posts: 15549
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by SarathW »

Only time I practice this when I wanted to control my pain in meditation posture.
When I started meditation I could not sit for more than ten minutes.
So I used this technique given by Buddha.
I virtually cried and tears came from my eyes.
Now I can sit for about thirty minutes without much pain, I can still sit for one hour even if there is pain.
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
Spiny Norman
Posts: 8073
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by Spiny Norman »

befriend wrote:how is this to be practiced practically? If evil, unskillful thoughts continue to arise in a bhikkhu in spite of his reflection on the removal of a source of unskillful thoughts, he should with clenched teeth and the tongue pressing on the palate, restrain, subdue and beat down the (evil) mind by the (good) mind. Then the evil, unskillful thoughts connected with desire, hate and delusion are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination, the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation).
This sutta might be of interest: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .soma.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This is in the context of Right Effort, which in simple terms means developing skillful mental states and not indulging in unskillful ones. You could say that the 7 factors of enlightenment ( satta bojjhaṅgā ) progressively "displace" the hindrances ( pañca nīvaraṇāni ) .
Buddha save me from new-agers!
User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 1123
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by Nicolas »

I interpret that as crushing down on unwholesome thoughts using the raw power of your mind, with pure willpower and intense (if necessary) exerted effort.
Spiny Norman
Posts: 8073
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by Spiny Norman »

Nicolas wrote:I interpret that as crushing down on unwholesome thoughts using the raw power of your mind, with pure willpower and intense (if necessary) exerted effort.
I've always found that very difficult. What works much better for me is deciding to think about something more skillful, which I think is one way of applying Right Effort.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 1123
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by Nicolas »

Spiny Norman wrote:I've always found that very difficult. What works much better for me is deciding to think about something more skillful, which I think is one way of applying Right Effort.
Yes, that is the first technique that is recommended in the sutta. The "crushing" one is a last resort if that one and others don't work.
aperrie
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:17 pm

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by aperrie »

I believe that certain things in the mind are natural and the only real way to dispose of them is to observe them only as what they are, emotions, they do not need to take form or be "crushed" because we are buddhists and thinking in that way is wrong. I think instead of crushing them one should take the time to analyze what brought on this emotion and without attachment to it allow it to exist and view it as a 3rd party watching on. I believe attempting to "crush" the emotion is accepting it and saying "this is who I am, this is my thought, I am unpure" which is a form of attachment, instead of observing it. Do not let yourself become consumed by it, or upset by its presence. I think more ill-will will come from feeling defeated or the need to destroy a thought. I think only after you can accept it as a natural phenomenon and not attach yourself to it will it finally cease existing. That is the way I have slowly began to deal with my impurities and prevent them from controlling my actions.

I hope this helps someone,

with metta

AJ
User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 4198
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

aperrie wrote:I think instead of crushing them one should take the time to analyze what brought on this emotion and without attachment to it allow it to exist and view it as a 3rd party watching on.
I think if you don't apply the right method when lust or anger arise you may well find yourself getting into punch-ups, or doing things that you might not live long enough to regret. When passion arises strongly, crushing it is often the only option. Later, you can reflect on how and why you got into that situation so that you can avoid it in future, but at the time it is not the right method to apply.
BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)
aperrie
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:17 pm

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by aperrie »

I think in that instant you are allowing anger and passion to control you and absorbing it, what I am talking about happens after you have trained yourself enough that you have right action. You know that your feelings do not have to reflect your actions and you are able to decide between right action and wrong action in that moment. If you are not able to control your emotions to the point you may lash out in anger or passion and become controlled by them then I agree that "crushing" it is better than taking wrong action.

However, I feel that the true way to eliminate wrong thought or consciousness after you have been able to control wrong action is through acceptance rather than avoidance or trying to destroy it.

For instance someone cuts me off in traffic and I nearly hit him, my initial thought is fear of loss (to my existence or property or family/friends) and then anger at the person who may have caused me loss, at that time I could honk my horn and yell and become upset, or take it into my day and bring off my bad experience with everyone I speak to. Bringing more and more bad feelings to people. I could crush my impulse to lash out at the driver but I may still carry feelings of anger from the event into the day. Or I could crush anger altogether, tell myself I am better than this I shouldn't get angry, I won't allow it to exist. Until it happens again and you feel it all over again and you are struggling to crush it again. Until you can understand the cause of the anger, in this case fear of loss of my life, my car, my money, my family, get to the root of it where you have attachments to your life, your car, your money, your family. With that knowledge you can either not attach to these things, end fear, end anger, or realize what brings your anger and accept it as a natural emotion but do not associate with it. Have the wisdom to see, I am scared because of his action, (an action I am sure he didn't intend to place on you personally), I feel anger because of this, I accept that as an emotion that everyone has, I will observe this emotion as it rises and falls like everything else but not participate or allow it to become a part of me.

Personally, I am unable to do this. I know of it, I have the thought process to figure out where my emotions come from, but I cannot bring myself to eliminate my bonds and sometimes I am unable to control my emotions and hold myself back from wrong action or completely forget about all of this, I allow myself to become vulnerable and not think. Sometimes I am hard on myself because I know better, or because I should be stronger. I don't get into fist fights or anything terrible but I admit that I say things I shouldn't out of anger, frustration, or because I think I am better than another. But I reflect on this and realize I am better today than I was tomorrow and I will be better tomorrow than I am today. Slowly day by day I will become a better person, I will make up my bad karma with good karma and if I stumble along the way I will right myself and continue.

I apologize for the novel, I guess I have a lot on my mind.

Metta

AJ
User avatar
waterchan
Posts: 699
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:17 pm
Location: Kamaloka

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by waterchan »

SarathW wrote:Only time I practice this when I wanted to control my pain in meditation posture.
When I started meditation I could not sit for more than ten minutes.
So I used this technique given by Buddha.
I virtually cried and tears came from my eyes.
Or... you could have simply corrected to posture to make your body more comfortable.

I don't recall the Buddha ever saying that you should clench your teeth if great pain arises in your meditation. That's asceticism, not the middle way.
SarathW
Posts: 15549
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by SarathW »

waterchan wrote:
SarathW wrote:Only time I practice this when I wanted to control my pain in meditation posture.
When I started meditation I could not sit for more than ten minutes.
So I used this technique given by Buddha.
I virtually cried and tears came from my eyes.
Or... you could have simply corrected to posture to make your body more comfortable.

I don't recall the Buddha ever saying that you should clench your teeth if great pain arises in your meditation. That's asceticism, not the middle way.
Pain in the mind also an unwholesome state.
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by tiltbillings »

This subject has been recently explored at length here.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723
User avatar
Kamran
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:14 am

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by Kamran »

It easy to say "crush bad mind with good mind", but in practice some unskillful mind states can be very persistent.

I have found that one effective way to "crush bad mind" is by reading great literature.

Great books are absorbing, and change the inclination of your thoughts in a way that lasts long after you stop reading.
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
peterve
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:17 am

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by peterve »

befriend wrote:how is this to be practiced practically? If evil, unskillful thoughts continue to arise in a bhikkhu in spite of his reflection on the removal of a source of unskillful thoughts, he should with clenched teeth and the tongue pressing on the palate, restrain, subdue and beat down the (evil) mind by the (good) mind. Then the evil, unskillful thoughts connected with desire, hate and delusion are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination, the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation).
That's a quite good idea of crushing the bad mind.
But sometimes bad mind crush the good mind when bad mind is heavier than good mind.
That's why meditation is a good way to lighten the weight of bad mind so that we can crush the bad mind with the power of our good mind. :anjali:
spam link removed by admin
mal4mac
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:47 pm

Re: crushing bad mind with good mind

Post by mal4mac »

Kamran wrote:It easy to say "crush bad mind with good mind", but in practice some unskillful mind states can be very persistent.

I have found that one effective way to "crush bad mind" is by reading great literature.

Great books are absorbing, and change the inclination of your thoughts in a way that lasts long after you stop reading.
Is that a "crushing" experience? It is is suggested that before going to the extremes of "crushing mind with mind" that we try attend to something wholesome instead. Wouldn't 'reading great literature' come under that category? To 'change the inclination of your thoughts' sounds a lot gentler than 'crushing mind with mind'. This still leaves us with the question of how exactly do you '"crush mind with mind"? Do you just try and force yourself to stop thinking, a kind of conscious repression? Or do you engage in a forceful, rational, Socratic dialogue with yourself? (I'm always doing the latter! :thinking:)
- Mal
Post Reply