Negative thoughts

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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befriend
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Negative thoughts

Post by befriend » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:50 pm

How do you handle negative thoughts that have just popped into your head unbidden without volitional? I don't want to say "out" because that can be more aversion. And I don't want them to turn into negative feeling tones. How do you manage negative thoughts in daily life? Thank you
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

JohnK
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by JohnK » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:12 pm

befriend wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:50 pm
How do you manage negative thoughts in daily life? Thank you
A couple of quick reactions:
Just recognizing it as a thought is important (vs. being lost in the thought -- seeing the "thought bubble" from the outside vs. being caught inside the bubble -- seeing that one can step outside the bubble once it is recognized). Then some consideration of the vedana associated with the thought -- is it pleasant (for example feeling superior by thinking negatively of someone)? Or is it unpleasant (the negative thought was about my inadequacy)? And what view may be associated with or be behind the thought -- what view am I attached too? What is my particular ignorance in this?
Those who grasp at perceptions & views wander the internet creating friction. [based on Sn4:9,v.847]

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Alīno
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by Alīno » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:58 pm

As said Ajahn Jayasaro, last week in Cittaviveka , something like: Thoughts that pop up by themselves are just result of past kamma, they are just thoughts, but the way you react on them is your choice, creation of new kamma.

As concern my own way to deal with them, is that when I see that a bad or evil thought that just pop up in my mind I firmly say "NO!" and it cut all proliferation at the root.
Ajahn Nanadassano (before ordaining) : Venerable Ajahn, what is the bigest error that buddhist do in their practice?
Ajahn Jayasaro : They stop practicing ...

Srilankaputra
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by Srilankaputra » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:33 pm

I am assuming you are asking about being obsessed by some thought.

For me personally, I like to ask my self 'what am I doing right NOW'. Most times this helps me establish mindfulness and everything recedes in to it's own proper place.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by Dan74-MkII » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:43 pm

Recognise all beings as deluded and suffering just like yourself. When we stuff up, or even when we do evil, we are harbouring under a great delusion and suffering a lot. This brings out compassion for all involved.

befriend
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by befriend » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:37 pm

Not obsessive thoughts just little annoying irritated thoughts like "i really don't like these people on tv" for example they just pop into my head sometimes through out the day
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

befriend
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by befriend » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:44 pm

It looks like it helps to just label the thought "afflictive" I will work with this and see how it goes
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:54 pm

befriend wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:37 pm
Not obsessive thoughts just little annoying irritated thoughts like "i really don't like these people on tv" for example they just pop into my head sometimes through out the day
I'm tempted to say that this is not only perfectly normal, it's a sign of your good sense. People on tv are often there just to irritate us; most people would rather be irritated than bored and left to their own devices, which is how tv often works.

The only suggestions I have are to not worry about it, recognise that nearly everyone in the world suffers from mildly afflictive thoughts, and keep going with the practice to increase general levels of well-being. And, of course, watch less tv!

befriend
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by befriend » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:13 pm

Thanks Sam vara
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

budo
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by budo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:05 pm

befriend wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:37 pm
Not obsessive thoughts just little annoying irritated thoughts like "i really don't like these people on tv" for example they just pop into my head sometimes through out the day
Entertainment leads to negative / complaining / dukkha thoughts.
There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in frequenting theatrical shows. He is ever thinking:


(i) where is there dancing?
(ii) where is there singing?
(iii) where is there music?
(iv) where is there recitation?
(v) where is there playing with cymbals?
(vi) where is there pot-blowing?
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nara.html

sunnat
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by sunnat » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:23 am

. When there is recognition of thought there is anicca. The mind is steadied and focused with anapanasati leading to kaya, vedana, citta and dhammanupassana of anicca.

perkele
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by perkele » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:35 am

befriend wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:50 pm
How do you handle negative thoughts that have just popped into your head unbidden without volitional? I don't want to say "out" because that can be more aversion. And I don't want them to turn into negative feeling tones. How do you manage negative thoughts in daily life? Thank you
I remember back in school when I was often bored and longing for the end of the last lesson. Annoyed thoughts would pop into my mind. I told my annoyed thoughts to shut up, so I could patiently wait for the end and go home in a pleasent, peaceful state of mind.
There's nothing wrong with telling your annoyed thoughts to STFU, in my opinion. It has worked effectively for me.

SarathW
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by SarathW » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:14 am

Just be mindful of it.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Pondera
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by Pondera » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:38 am

Here’s five ways taught by the Buddha

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el021.html

And this is the last resort
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).

Like a strong man holding a weaker man by the head or shoulders and restraining, subduing and beating him down, should the bhikkhu in whom evil, unskillful thoughts continue to arise in spite of his reflection on the source of unskillful thoughts, restrain, subdue and beat down the (evil) mind by the (good) mind, with clenched teeth and the tongue pressing on the palate. 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).
IMHO - thoughts come from the heart. So listen closely to your heart; locate the source of the thoughts; and crush them; eradicate them; don’t let them own you.
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

Laurens
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Re: Negative thoughts

Post by Laurens » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:58 am

I would say the following works for me:

1. Understand that not every thought you have is true.

2. Go straight on to thinking something positive about yourself, or the person/thing you are thinking negatively about.

3. For persistent thoughts, I find a mantra works. It's not taught by the Buddha in Theravada, but there is a tradition that uses the mantra 'buddho' in Theravada. I would also say that using a mantra you like is a good idea, so don't bypass things like 'om mani padme hum' just because of tradition---it may really benefit you! Just repeating the phrase internally can be a good way to supplant negative thoughts when you are working, or otherwise off the cushion.

4. Extend compassion to yourself. Don't let the negative thought domino into other negative thoughts. If you think 'I am such a bad person for thinking that' remind yourself that you don't control what pops up in random thoughts, that even Mara tempted the Buddha himself.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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