Not-Thinking as a practice

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
danieLion
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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby danieLion » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:01 pm

daverupa wrote:
danieLion wrote:A sharp distinction between experience and reflex is difficult at best.


We don't need a sharp distinction; any distinction which indicates that we are to note our behaviors, rather than let them pass unnoticed, is going in the right direction.

And, at first and likely for some time, this requires thinking.

Well said. Clarifying too. Thanks.
PS: "Thinking is behaving." B.F. Skinner

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Mr Man
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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby Mr Man » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:28 pm

"experience and reflex" does that equal Vedana and Tanha?

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daverupa
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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:45 pm

Mr Man wrote:"experience and reflex" does that equal Vedana and Tanha?


It doesn't really break down in that way, as I use the terms.

Experience is the brute sense input (any of six), and reflexion is awareness of the experience. In other words, reflexion is the opposite of the "auto-pilot" phenomenon where, for example, you'll walk or drive for a distance and then 'snap-to' and realize you haven't been aware for a time.

In the autopilot scenario, vedana, tanha, etc. - all present, but awareness was not present. The only difference in the reflexion scenario is the presence of awareness.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby Kay Bee » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:16 pm

I have done that "not thinking" a few times and each was for the whole day. It did clear the mind and as I noticed after I ended it, very little joke was more than enough to make me laugh.
It is a very beautiful thing to do, and I have been trying to do it again lately.

And it was still possible to "know" and do things. It was like when you sit and breathe, you don't need to think to know that you're breathing. The same is when you feel an itch and scratch it. There's no need to think to feel and scratch it.

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Mr Man
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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby Mr Man » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:40 pm

Thanks Dave, I didn't read you first post properly and picked up on "experience and reflex" from danieLion's post. I have always looked at thought and thinking in terms of ideas formulated into language within the brain, which is rather narrow. I had looked upon sampajanna as being separate from thought and vitakka/vicara more as functions of mind. With my narrow definition of thought I would say that Not-thinking does become a useful object for meditation.

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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:28 pm

danieLion wrote:So, when we're thinking, we're not experiencing? They can never occur simultaneously?


A thought is experience but what thought points to (ex: pink colorless unicorn with three horns) may not.

Furthermore, without thinking "My true Self is..." , can at that moment be Self Views? No.
"dust to dust...."

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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby SarathW » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:42 pm

Mr Man wrote:"experience and reflex" does that equal Vedana and Tanha?


I think it is Vedana and Sanna in terms of five aggregate.
I think it is Vedana and Phasa etc. interms of dependent origination
It can be viewed in terms of seventeen thought moments as well. Please see the link, para (Mind in its active and pasive form):

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html

They all interdependent process. No first cause.
According to Buddhism only time you do not have thought is when an Arahant is in Nirodha Samapatti state.

Please see the link:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/printguna.pdf

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Mr Man
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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby Mr Man » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:12 am

SarathW wrote:
Mr Man wrote:"experience and reflex" does that equal Vedana and Tanha?


I think it is Vedana and Sanna in terms of five aggregate.
I think it is Vedana and Phasa etc. interms of dependent origination
It can be viewed in terms of seventeen thought moments as well. Please see the link, para (Mind in its active and pasive form):

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html

They all interdependent process. No first cause.
According to Buddhism only time you do not have thought is when an Arahant is in Nirodha Samapatti state.

Please see the link:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/printguna.pdf


Thanks for the links SarathW. Overly theoretical for me I'm afraid. I would be interested in hearing what your definition/understanding of "thought" is? Is it "ideas formulated into language within the brain"?

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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:24 pm

I know this teaching is soy profound. It took me years of reading and practice to get my head around this.
Only suggestion I can make to you is please read and practice (Satipattana) so you will find the answer yourself.
Sorry I can’t give you a direct answer. :)

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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby Mr Man » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:08 pm

SarathW, here's somthing from Ajahn Sumedho: "As soon as we think about ourselves, we become a person - somebody - but when we are not thinking, the mind is quite empty and there is no sense of person. There is still consciousness, sensitivity, but it's not seen in terms of being a person, of being a man or a woman; there is just awareness of what is happening - what the feeling is, the mood, the atmosphere that one is experiencing in this moment. We can call this intuitive awareness. It is not programmed and conditioned by thought or memory or perception. " Is he talking about "Nirodha Samapatti" or the "Dhayna infinity of space"? http://www.fsnewsletter.amaravati.org/html/38/38.htm

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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:52 pm

Hi Mr.Man
I think he is talking about radiant consiousness. I may be wrong. I asked a similar questin in attached link.

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=15567

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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby kirk5a » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:13 am

Mr Man wrote:SarathW, here's somthing from Ajahn Sumedho: "As soon as we think about ourselves, we become a person - somebody - but when we are not thinking, the mind is quite empty and there is no sense of person. There is still consciousness, sensitivity, but it's not seen in terms of being a person, of being a man or a woman; there is just awareness of what is happening - what the feeling is, the mood, the atmosphere that one is experiencing in this moment. We can call this intuitive awareness. It is not programmed and conditioned by thought or memory or perception. " Is he talking about "Nirodha Samapatti" or the "Dhayna infinity of space"? http://www.fsnewsletter.amaravati.org/html/38/38.htm

I think he's just talking about ordinary awareness but when, through developing a reasonably stable degree of wakefulness and concentration, the mental blather quiets down and imaginings fade away...
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby pegembara » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:06 am

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=609

“‘Consciousness without surface,
without end,
luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind
have no footing.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:55 am

kirk5a wrote:I think he's just talking about ordinary awareness but when, through developing a reasonably stable degree of wakefulness and concentration, the mental blather quiets down and imaginings fade away...

Exactly. And that is the beauty of the practice. It is here and now, It is not complicated, we don't need special states or conditions. Just a bit of a framework and some diligence.

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Re: Not-Thinking as a practice

Postby SarathW » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:55 am

I think animal or a newly born children do not have self-awareness (ego). They just live day by day. I do not think they can become arahants because their rebirth consciousness is conditioned by attachment, aversion and ignorance. I am glad to see that Ajhan Sumedho seems to think that attaining arhantship is child play. I wish I can think the same! :)


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