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Persistent thoughts

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:47 pm
by alfa
:namaste:

How do you deal with persistent thoughts, not necessarily during meditation but during regular hours as well?

A certain thought pattern keeps surfacing over and over. Do you keep ignoring it?

What exactly do you do with such thoughts (not random thoughts)?

:anjali:

Re: Persistent thoughts

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:20 pm
by SDC
Don't worry about the content of the thought. Focus the your ability to repeatedly recollect it. Mindful reflection is very similar and you should use this persistent thought to your advantage. Instead of being discouraged by it, see that recollection as already developed mindfulness (wrongly directed, but persistant in the same way). Remember to *know* that you are doing it while you are doing it (MN10). If you do that, you can take what was once just an annoying thought and develop it into something more.

Re: Persistent thoughts

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:54 pm
by Modus.Ponens
alfa wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:47 pm
:namaste:

How do you deal with persistent thoughts, not necessarily during meditation but during regular hours as well?

A certain thought pattern keeps surfacing over and over. Do you keep ignoring it?

What exactly do you do with such thoughts (not random thoughts)?

:anjali:
Let them rise, let them be, let them fade, as they are, without reacting with attachment or aversion. And when you do react, let the reaction itself rise, be and fade.

Re: Persistent thoughts

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:05 pm
by Dan74-MkII
It can help to notice the emotional reactions around them, the bodily reactions and bring some spacious awareness to them.

Re: Persistent thoughts

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:17 pm
by Aloka
alfa wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:47 pm
:namaste:

How do you deal with persistent thoughts, not necessarily during meditation but during regular hours as well?

A certain thought pattern keeps surfacing over and over. Do you keep ignoring it?

What exactly do you do with such thoughts (not random thoughts)?

:anjali:
Hi alfa,

The Buddha's words about thoughts in MN 19 might be helpful:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html


:anjali:


.

Re: Persistent thoughts

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:04 am
by Srilankaputra
Vitakkasanthana Sutta: The Relaxation of Thoughts

The teaching i have found most useful is the following. Which is complementary to the above sutta;
"What do you think, Rahula: What is a mirror for?"

"For reflection, sir."

"In the same way, Rahula, bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions are to be done with repeated reflection.

"Whenever you want to do a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any bodily action of that sort is fit for you to do.

"While you are doing a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

"Having done a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.

"Whenever you want to do a verbal action, you should reflect on it: ...

"While you are doing a verbal action, you should reflect on it: ...

"Having done a verbal action, you should reflect on it: ...

"Whenever you want to do a mental action, you should reflect on it: ...

"While you are doing a mental action, you should reflect on it: ...

"Having done a mental action, you should reflect on it: ...

"Rahula, all those brahmans & contemplatives in the course of the past who purified their bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions, did it through repeated reflection on their bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions in just this way.

"All those brahmans & contemplatives in the course of the future who will purify their bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions, will do it through repeated reflection on their bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions in just this way.

"All those brahmans & contemplatives at present who purify their bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions, do it through repeated reflection on their bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions in just this way
I think the first thing we should do is to become really, really…. intent on our own welfare. Then every thing else will follow in it's wake.

Re: Persistent thoughts

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:04 am
by xofz
Do not worry about the persistent thoughts. See how long they last; it can be a sign of increased concentration. See how long we can make the persistent thoughts last for and when we are finally finished, be happy we did not speak or act on them.

Re: Persistent thoughts

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:56 am
by binocular
alfa wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:47 pm
How do you deal with persistent thoughts, not necessarily during meditation but during regular hours as well?

A certain thought pattern keeps surfacing over and over. Do you keep ignoring it?

What exactly do you do with such thoughts (not random thoughts)?
If a thought keeps coming up over and over again, then it needs to be addressed or otherwise dealt with. There's probably some action connected to it that one needs to do and the thought will keep coming up until that action is completed.
For example, you might need to make an appointment with the dentist, apologize to an old friend, make some important decision about work, or life in general.

You can do that by starting a worry journal -- something like this:
https://plentywoman.com/how-to/keep-worry-journal/
https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-an ... h-benefits
https://www.health.com/health/condition ... 59,00.html

Have the journal with you during the day and write down the worry/thought when it appears; or carry with you only a blank notebook from which you can easily tear pages, write your thought or worry there.

Set a time of the day and a place when you will address the thought, with the help of your journal; if you're using a blank notebook, tear the page out of your blank notebook and transfer the text into your worry journal.
In that designated time and space, focus on that thought and figure out what needs to be done about it or what you could do about it.

But outside of that designated time and space, don't further think about it. You have written it down, you have made notice of it, you will address it at the designated time and space. Outside of the designated worry time, it's time for your work and other scheduled activities.

Re: Persistent thoughts

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:58 pm
by 2600htz
alfa wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:47 pm
:namaste:

How do you deal with persistent thoughts, not necessarily during meditation but during regular hours as well?

A certain thought pattern keeps surfacing over and over. Do you keep ignoring it?

What exactly do you do with such thoughts (not random thoughts)?

:anjali:
Hello:

If a certain thought pattern keeps surfacing over and over it means there is an attachment there (clinging).
You allow the thought to arise and to be there, but yes, you ignore it. You dont keep your attention there, you just relax and go back to whatever you are doing in the present moment, let it be in the background. It is your reaction to the thought what keeps the thought arising.

This is a simple instruction, but sometimes we take it the wrong way (we try to push the thought away, or everytime the thought arises we think about "buddhism" and how to control it). We are always going to have attachments arising, and most are garbage. But if its something you can fix, even better.

Regards.