Strangeness while turning off toughts

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
theanarchist
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by theanarchist » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:00 am

kirtu wrote:
theanarchist wrote:Sounds like a dissociative state. That's not powerful but psychiatrically relevant.
It doesn't have to be dissociative at all. Just a state of not thinkingt

A state of deliberately forced not thinking is. Forcing/manipulating the mind into desired states is NOT buddhist meditation and can cause psychiatric problems.

theanarchist
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by theanarchist » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:03 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
My understanding is that the reason for this is this "blank state" can get quite addictive, and lead away from insight rather than towards it.

There are even stories about these states leading to people being reborn as animals, putting people in basically a "spiritual coma" etc.

I thought that this leads to a rebirth in the formless realms. And yes, it's definitely a state without wisdom.

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seeker242
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by seeker242 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:43 pm

Nosta wrote: 2) Why is not usual to see masters motivating students for such "switch off" toughts?

Reminds me of a little quote from The Third Patriarch of Zen Verses on the Faith Mind scripture.

"When you try to stop activity by passivity, your very effort fills you with activity."

But of course that doesn't mean that thoughts don't stop sometimes. But it's not something that you make an effort to do. It's just a naturally occurring byproduct of full and complete attention on what is right in front of you. Like when you are doing walking meditation, if your full and complete attention is on the sensation of your feet moving and touching the ground, then thoughts may be "switched off" in a manner of speaking. But it's not an effort to "switch off thoughts", it's just a paying attention to the sensation of your feet moving and touching the ground, etc. That is what I've been taught anyway. :smile:

I like the Japanese zen description of this. They use the terms Shiryo, Fushiryo and Hishiryo.

Shiryo (thinking)
Fushiryo (not thinking)
Hishiryo (beyond thinking)

Teachers say the practice is not a matter of thinking (shiryo) or of shutting out thought (fushiryo) but of being before, or beyond, thinking (hishiryo).

Masters don't teach students to "switch off" thoughts because that would be the wrong practice of "fushiryo", rather than the correct practice of "hishiryo". I'm not a Japanese zen practicioner, but I've always found those 3 descriptions helpful. :smile:
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by joy&peace » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:10 pm

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Nosta
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by Nosta » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:29 pm

theanarchist wrote:
kirtu wrote:
theanarchist wrote:Sounds like a dissociative state. That's not powerful but psychiatrically relevant.
It doesn't have to be dissociative at all. Just a state of not thinkingt

A state of deliberately forced not thinking is. Forcing/manipulating the mind into desired states is NOT buddhist meditation and can cause psychiatric problems.

Never heard about that. Are there any studys, reports, etc, saying that stopping toughts creates madness??

Seeker 242: You said a very good point, when someone is engaged on mindfulness (of breathing, walking , etc), ,toughts cease to exist.

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Kaccāni
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by Kaccāni » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:39 pm

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:I used to say mantras when i was driving....but it can switch off your minds thoughts to the point you forget where you are , and miss some turns you should of taken....so don't meditate when you drive !!!!!!!!! You need to be fully present !
Actually, if it is really meditation, your body-mind will still take good care of the driving per se, so you should be safe. However the destination you arrive at will be rather arbitrary. But that's no different from just following the flow where life leads you? :shrug:
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by Kaccāni » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:42 pm

Nosta wrote: because if I have not toughts I can see what remains.
Oh? Which "I" would there be if it was not a thought?
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theanarchist
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by theanarchist » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:06 pm

Nosta wrote:
theanarchist wrote:
Never heard about that. Are there any studys, reports, etc, saying that stopping toughts creates madness??.

If you use forceful methods and do it regularly you can cause mental illness.

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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by Jesse » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:36 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Nosta wrote:
theanarchist wrote:
Never heard about that. Are there any studys, reports, etc, saying that stopping toughts creates madness??.

If you use forceful methods and do it regularly you can cause mental illness.
There's a few ways thoughts can be stopped.

1. in a forced manner, in which all thoughts are suppressed intentionally.
2. through concentration, where in a relaxed manner you simple decide not to think anymore, or your concentration becomes so one pointed that thoughts just stop.
3. by not clinging whatsoever to mental phenomena, thoughts still arise but they cease so quickly that it can seem there are no thoughts at all.

In Buddhism we would want number 3. Number 2 can be useful, and number 1 has no use, and will only cause thoughts to get worse after the fact. I doubt forcefully stopping thoughts will cause mental problems unless it becomes habitual. If we habitually suppress certain thoughts, eventually the mind will come up with other ways to express what it needs to. Which can take any number of forms, some of which may be mentally distressing.

The difference between number 2 and 3, is that number 3 does not require concentration, only realization and mindfulness. Number 2 is useful for developing the capacity and wisdom for number 3.

Just my opinion though.

As a side note: When you forcefully suppress thoughts there is always a feeling of stress, or mental pressure associated with it in my experience, but through concentration/mindfulness there is a feeling of ease/freedom/relaxation associated with it.
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avisitor
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by avisitor » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:47 am

LastLegend wrote:"What is meant by 'no-thought?' No-thought means to view all dharmas with a mind undefiled by attachment. The function pervades all places but is nowhere attached. Merely purify your original mind and cause the six consciousnesses to go out the six gates, to be undefiled and unmixed among the six objects, to come and go freely and to penetrate without obstruction. That is the Prajna Samadhi and freedom and liberation, and it is called the practice of no-thought."

"Not thinking of the hundred things and constantly causing your thought to be cut off is called Dharma-bondage and is an extremist view."
Thanks, that makes lots of sense.

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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by Bakmoon » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:58 am

Nosta wrote:As a dull minded person, lately I increased my attention and concentration because of meditation. One thing that I notice is that sometimes I am able to simply shut up all my toughts, all my discursive toughts, the internal speech that is always present. I know, from reading, that one should just be mindfull about our toughts, without erasing them or without chasing them. Nevertheless, sometimes I try and just shut up my mind completly. And If I am doing this while driving or walking for example, I will be more aware of my mental silence and thats where things get really strange because it seems that I am loosing that feeling of myself. No one is there, just a screen (my vision) seeing things happening (the cars on the road or the trees, whatever). Its not easy to put it into words, but when my mind shuts up all the internal talk and I just observe I feel so strange that after some while I need to comeback to the normal "mode". That doesent mean that I am getting crazy or achieving something so dangerous that I need to switch to the "normal-thinking-mode", quiet the contrary, its something so...powerful?...or maybe something so different.

1) Do you understand what is this "blank" thing I am feeling? I mean, have you ever feel the same kind of thing?
2) Why is not usual to see masters motivating students for such "switch off" toughts? The most usual thing is the midfull stuff, be mindfull of your toughts (but dont chase them) and observe them passing away, etc?
3) Is that idea (switch off toughts) something related to a given buddhist practice?

Thanks for your insights. :)
What type of meditation are you practicing when this happens?

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qishenjing
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by qishenjing » Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:53 pm

Nosta wrote:As a dull minded person, lately I increased my attention and concentration because of meditation. One thing that I notice is that sometimes I am able to simply shut up all my toughts, all my discursive toughts, the internal speech that is always present. I know, from reading, that one should just be mindfull about our toughts, without erasing them or without chasing them. Nevertheless, sometimes I try and just shut up my mind completly. And If I am doing this while driving or walking for example, I will be more aware of my mental silence and thats where things get really strange because it seems that I am loosing that feeling of myself. No one is there, just a screen (my vision) seeing things happening (the cars on the road or the trees, whatever). Its not easy to put it into words, but when my mind shuts up all the internal talk and I just observe I feel so strange that after some while I need to comeback to the normal "mode". That doesent mean that I am getting crazy or achieving something so dangerous that I need to switch to the "normal-thinking-mode", quiet the contrary, its something so...powerful?...or maybe something so different.

1) Do you understand what is this "blank" thing I am feeling? I mean, have you ever feel the same kind of thing?
I can definitely attest to feeling this strange feeling as well, except it goes a little more strange for me....it feels like I am leaving my body and it almost feels as if my heart stops beating and respiration stops...it gets scary like my systems are shutting down. When this starts to happen, I have to literally come back to my body. A very uneasy feeling.
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Kaccāni
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Re: Strangeness while turning off toughts

Post by Kaccāni » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:49 pm

Well. Dependent on how persistent and automatic the "lower layer chatter" of your mind is, staying present initially may take some effort as older thinking habits, that have turned automatic, need to be dealt with. Those thoughts may be linked to a lot of subconsciuos tension, and all that system is looped, so staying clear may feel like effort as long as relaxing into that state hasn't become a habit yet.

There may be people who tell you that that's not Buddhism. As long as staying in the present is the target, in my opinion, the yoga is worth it. This state, in my experience, will help you stay equanimous. It brought me a 2nd place in a European Chamionship, and the ability to keep up a positive, accepting attitude during all the day, no matter what happens. And yes, the mind can come back pretty hard on you if you progress down that road. Becoming seriously tired will probably be the natural end.

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