How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

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mal4mac
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by mal4mac » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:37 am

Maybe you should be associating with some thoughts. Like: "I must pursue the Dhamma". At least until you can throw the raft away, if that time ever comes. How do you know it's a river and not an endless sea?
- Mal

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Spiny Norman
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Spiny Norman » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:45 am

acinteyyo wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:51 pm
The more I realize that I am not in charge, that I have no control, the more the process of dependent origination (here I'm not speaking of the 12-links but more of formations forming formations) becomes apparent and the notion of personality begins to fade away, because if it was me that is thinking my thoughts than I should have at least some kind of control over this process and I, my personality, should be there permanently to some extent in order to still be identifiable as my self within this process as a whole, but within this all there is nothing to be found that complies with the requirements for being my self and so the whole thing disintegrates furthermore and reveals its impersonality bit by bit.
That's interesting, and the ( lack of ) control aspect is useful to consider, particularly at the mind-base. But what about the application of Right Effort Right Intention and Right Concentration, choosing to develop more skillful states of mind? And what about the view that mindfulness ( paying attention to all this stuff ) is also something we choose to do, an activity, a practice?

I work regularly with the sense bases, and have the sense of perpetual change and continual movement. But I also have the sense of a stillness "beneath" all the movement.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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acinteyyo
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by acinteyyo » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:46 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:45 am
That's interesting, and the ( lack of ) control aspect is useful to consider, particularly at the mind-base. But what about the application of Right Effort Right Intention and Right Concentration, choosing to develop more skillful states of mind? And what about the view that mindfulness ( paying attention to all this stuff ) is also something we choose to do, an activity, a practice?
It seems to me that one can either choose to occupy oneself with states of mind, with thoughts, ideas, cravings, feelings and all that stuff that arises and ceases or not, one can choose to engage in those things, take them up, follow them, proliferate or not, provided that there is enough mindfulness to notice that a choice can be made or that a choice has been made, but apparently one cannot choose whether or not a certain state of mind, a thought, desires and so on come into existence or already there that they may vanish instantly.
This reminds me of a Schopenhauer-quote: "Man can do what he wills, but he cannot will what he wills."

Right Effort, Right Intention and Right Concentration are skills to be developed. They aren't developed by mere will. I cannot simply decide to have Right Effort and Right Intention, but by constantly choosing wholesome conditions over unwholesome conditions (in order to know what is what there must be Right View at least to some extent) these skills eventually progress and improve, come to perfection, while others diminish. I believe that's why it is called a noble path.

So for me I guess it comes down to choosing wisely from the manifold things that come up, where to put ones attention to, because there when consciousness lands and gets a firm footing, from there things continue to go their ways.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

alfa
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by alfa » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:18 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:31 am
alfa wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:19 am
cappuccino wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:10 pm


The intention
to see thoughts as impersonal
is enough
How are thoughts impersonal? :?
They are not 'yours'. The habit of identification with them as a sign that there is a central agent that they belong to is revealed as false.
I get that. I am just saying the thoughts keep pounding your head, even after you acknowledge that there is no one behind the door.

Saengnapha
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:15 am

alfa wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:18 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:31 am
alfa wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:19 am


How are thoughts impersonal? :?
They are not 'yours'. The habit of identification with them as a sign that there is a central agent that they belong to is revealed as false.
I get that. I am just saying the thoughts keep pounding your head, even after you acknowledge that there is no one behind the door.
Yes, the thoughts don't magically disappear, but the belief in them, the fixation on them, loosens when wisdom arises. Wisdom arises when certain conditions are present. This is a result of a combination of understanding the Dhamma intellectually, and the practice of Right Concentration.

“One begins with a conceptual understanding of the Dhamma and an intention to achieve the goal, the first two path factors. Then, out of faith, one accepts the moral discipline regulating speech, action, and livelihood. With virtue as a basis one energetically applies the mind to cultivating the four foundations of mindfulness. As mindfulness matures it issues in deepened concentration, and the concentrated mind, by investigation, arrives at wisdom, a penetrative understanding of the principles originally grasped only conceptually.”

Excerpt From: Nanamoli, Bhikkhu. “The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha.”

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Spiny Norman
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Spiny Norman » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:09 am

acinteyyo wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:46 pm
Right Effort, Right Intention and Right Concentration are skills to be developed. They aren't developed by mere will. I cannot simply decide to have Right Effort and Right Intention, but by constantly choosing wholesome conditions over unwholesome conditions (in order to know what is what there must be Right View at least to some extent) these skills eventually progress and improve, come to perfection, while others diminish.
Sure, but who or what is "constantly choosing"? Our practice is to "tame the mind", but apparently there is nobody doing the taming. :shrug:

Do we need the doctrine of the two truths here? ;) Actually I don't think that these questions can be answered intellectually, hence the need for sustained practice.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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acinteyyo
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by acinteyyo » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:48 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:09 am
acinteyyo wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:46 pm
Right Effort, Right Intention and Right Concentration are skills to be developed. They aren't developed by mere will. I cannot simply decide to have Right Effort and Right Intention, but by constantly choosing wholesome conditions over unwholesome conditions (in order to know what is what there must be Right View at least to some extent) these skills eventually progress and improve, come to perfection, while others diminish.
Sure, but who or what is "constantly choosing"? Our practice is to "tame the mind", but apparently there is nobody doing the taming. :shrug:
Well, I assume it is wisdom (pañña) and appropriate attention (yoniso manasikara) that put their fingertips on the scales so that it tipps more towards wholsomeness. That's the “constantly choosing“ in my eyes. The “choosing“ also happens when their isn't enough wisdom tipping the scales towards unwholesome conditions.
Spiny Norman wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:09 am
Do we need the doctrine of the two truths here? ;) Actually I don't think that these questions can be answered intellectually, hence the need for sustained practice.
I think we can go on without the doctrine of two truths. As far as I am concerned I know that I can use “my-self“ in order to do the practice, even if it appears to be not as homogeneous, permanent and not as appropriate as it once was. The ability to function as a person doesn't get lost only because the personality is exposed as being fraud. What significantly changes is how things are seen but the things themselves remain just as they are.

I agree with you, intellectually this will probably never be adequately explainable.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Spiny Norman » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:35 pm

acinteyyo wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:48 pm
Well, I assume it is wisdom (pañña) and appropriate attention (yoniso manasikara) that put their fingertips on the scales so that it tipps more towards wholsomeness. That's the “constantly choosing“ in my eyes. The “choosing“ also happens when their isn't enough wisdom tipping the scales towards unwholesome conditions.
Yes, could be. I'm really not sure, but not being sure feels OK! I do find working with the sense bases in the context of satipatthana to be a fascinating and revealing practice, and at times surprising. I have an open mind about where the practice will lead.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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