Thinking

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
lowlydog
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Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:15 am

How can I tell if thoughts are harmful or beneficial?

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futerko
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Re: Thinking

Postby futerko » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:02 am

Desire, aversion and ego-clinging.

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catmoon
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Re: Thinking

Postby catmoon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:12 am

Do they lead to cessation, equanimity, unbinding?
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Thinking

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:08 am

In meditation?

I've been led to believe that there are no harmful thoughts in mediation unless you cling to them, I suppose that's true always really. I've had some unpleasant experiences recently (coinciding with life getting harder, and a bit of depression, big surprise) in meditation with bizarre and intrusive thoughts. All the advice i've gotten here, from spiritual friends in real life, and stuff i've read says to just keep going' and sit with whatever it is that's giving you grief. Not easy, but i'm beginning to think it's the right answer.
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ground
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Re: Thinking

Postby ground » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:41 am


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robby
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Re: Thinking

Postby robby » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:41 am


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robby
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Re: Thinking

Postby robby » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:03 am


lowlydog
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Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:28 pm


lowlydog
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Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:33 pm


lowlydog
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Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:38 pm


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catmoon
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Re: Thinking

Postby catmoon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:31 pm

Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

lowlydog
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Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:15 pm

Hi catmoon,

This answers the question on a knowledge level, but how can I recognise when I am having impure(harmful) thoughts on a practical level while meditating or during my day to day activities?

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catmoon
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Re: Thinking

Postby catmoon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:40 pm

During meditation you don't have to worry about pure or impure. All thoughts are treated the same. One simply observes that a thought has arisen and returns to the breath. No need to classify.

Off the cushion, you can develop the habit of periodically examining your mental activity. If it concerns getting, keeping, or harming it's a harmful thought, as far as enlightenment goes. However, completely abandoning thoughts like this can damage your income, so a householder has to compromise a bit.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

lowlydog
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Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:16 pm

Hi catmoon

During my day to day activities and meditation thoughts are overwhelming and trick and decieve me, is there anything impartial I could observe that could act as a warning sign of these impure thoughts?

Do impurities have any effect on the breathing process?

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futerko
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Re: Thinking

Postby futerko » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:37 pm


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catmoon
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Re: Thinking

Postby catmoon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:44 pm

Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

lowlydog
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Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:44 pm

So what your saying is that during my meditation(and day to day activities) a change in my breathing is an indication of impurities in the mind. So a fast and hard breathing could indicate tension and impure mind and a relaxed and slow breath could indicate a calm pure mind.

Also, observing bodily tension is a good way of recognising impure harmful thoughts.

Why do we have to make anger a problem? If we can identify it, can we not just observe it, see its charachteristic of impermanence and watch it arise stay for some time and eventually pass away. Your technique seems to place your attention on others, outside of your body. Would it not be better to observe ones own qualities?

I can defenitly see how imagining a buddha when angry can temporarily distract one from impure thoughts but how does this prevent the thoughts from arising in the future.

lowlydog
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Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:45 pm


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futerko
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Re: Thinking

Postby futerko » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:12 pm


lowlydog
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Re: Thinking

Postby lowlydog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:35 pm

Hi futerko,

Focusing attention on the breath fulfills the same purpose, the old habit pattern of the mind flitting about, we gradually train the mind to stay in this tiny area and remain calm and relaxed.

How does this allow me to recognise a mind full of craving vs. a mind full of aversion?


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