Does negative thinking matter?

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1813
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Does negative thinking matter?

Post by No_Mind » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:37 pm

Does negative thinking matter? Does our life change when we become thankful for everything we have? Is there anyone here who changed their pattern of thought from negative to positive?

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

Saengnapha
Posts: 861
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:18 pm

Of course negative thinking matters. Once you begin to see how you are suffering from the effects of your thinking, you can begin to act differently. Isn't this what therapy is all about? Thinking is an habitual activity. It is something you learn to do. You can learn to do something else, too. It's a good start and simple mindfulness training can help immensely. People quit smoking, drinking, beating their wives and themselves. This is the first thing that must change and the good news is you have control over this.

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1813
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by No_Mind » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:53 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:18 pm
Of course negative thinking matters. Once you begin to see how you are suffering from the effects of your thinking, you can begin to act differently. Isn't this what therapy is all about? Thinking is an habitual activity. It is something you learn to do. You can learn to do something else, too. It's a good start and simple mindfulness training can help immensely. People quit smoking, drinking, beating their wives and themselves. This is the first thing that must change and the good news is you have control over this.
if I observe my thoughts .. and label them .. worry, worry, worry and return to mindfulness of breathing

If done over a period say a month (I have not really tried that) will that remove that negative thought or give me more control over it?

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

befriend
Posts: 1182
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:39 am

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by befriend » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:25 pm

I follow the Rahula sutta sometimes I did it all day one time and I asked myself is this afflictive to myself or others or both? When a negative thought came up or intention for negative behavior this motto just naturally released the negative thought intention by itself. I think letting go of negative thoughts is more important than thinking good thoughts because refraining from evil is the foundation and doing bad is more catastrophic than doing good is beneficial.
rest

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1813
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by No_Mind » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:45 pm

befriend wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:25 pm
I follow the Rahula sutta sometimes I did it all day one time and I asked myself is this afflictive to myself or others or both? When a negative thought came up or intention for negative behavior this motto just naturally released the negative thought intention by itself. I think letting go of negative thoughts is more important than thinking good thoughts because refraining from evil is the foundation and doing bad is more catastrophic than doing good is beneficial.
Whenever you want to do a mental action, you should reflect on it: 'This mental action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful mental 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 mental action with painful consequences, painful results, then any mental 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 mental action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any mental action of that sort is fit for you to do.

"While you are doing a mental action, you should reflect on it: 'This mental action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful mental 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 mental action, you should reflect on it: 'This mental action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful mental 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 mental action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should feel distressed, ashamed, & disgusted with it. Feeling distressed, ashamed, & disgusted with 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 mental action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
Do you mean this passage? So I should be mindful and ask myself - Was it an unskillful mental action, with painful consequences, painful results? (such as anxiety)

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

befriend
Posts: 1182
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:39 am

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by befriend » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:09 pm

Yes that's the sutta. I'm not sure what's causing your anxiety but doing this practice can't hurt. After doing a day of this applying it to every action mental verbal and physical I felt the bliss of blamelessness it was a very pleasant abiding.
rest

Meezer77
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 5:43 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Meezer77 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:04 pm

Aw No Mind, why did you get rid of the HINDU" stamped pic?

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6179
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by bodom » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:06 pm

This is what the Buddha had to say:
“Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of renunciation, he has abandoned the thought of sensual desire to cultivate the thought of renunciation, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of renunciation. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of non-ill will … upon thoughts of non-cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of cruelty to cultivate the thought of non-cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of non-cruelty.

- MN 19
:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

User avatar
Lucas Oliveira
Posts: 732
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:07 pm

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:10 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:37 pm
Does negative thinking matter? Does our life change when we become thankful for everything we have? Is there anyone here who changed their pattern of thought from negative to positive?

:namaste:
One instance of intention is one instance of kamma. When there
is kamma there is immediate result. Even just one little thought,
although not particularly important, is nevertheless not void of
consequence. It will be at the least a “tiny speck” of kamma,
added to the stream of conditions which shape mental activity.
With repeated practice, through repeated proliferation by the
mind, or through expression as external activity, the result becomes
stronger in the form of character traits, physical features
or repercussions from external sources.
A destructive intention does not have to be on a gross level. It
may, for example, lead to the destruction of only a very small
thing, such as when we angrily tear up a piece of paper. Even
though that piece of paper has no importance in itself, the action
still has some effect on the quality of the mind. The effect
8 9
is very different from tearing up a piece of paper with a neutral
state of mind, such as when throwing away scrap paper. If there
is repeated implementation of such angry intention, the effects
of accumulation will become clearer and clearer, and may develop
to more significant levels.
Consider the specks of dust which come floating unnoticed into
a room; there isn’t one speck which is void of consequence. It is
the same for the mind. But the weight of that consequence, in
addition to being dependent on the amount of mental “dust,” is
also related to the quality of the mind. For instance, specks of
dust which alight onto a road surface have to be of a very large
quantity before the road will seem to be dirty. Specks of dust
which alight onto a floor, although of a much smaller quantity,
may make the floor seem dirtier than the road. A smaller
amount of dust accumulating on a table top will seem dirty
enough to cause irritation. An even smaller amount alighting on
a mirror will seem dirty and will interfere with its functioning.
A tiny speck of dust on a spectacle lens is perceptible and can
impair vision. In the same way, volition or intention, no matter
how small, is not void of fruit. As the Buddha said:

“All kamma, whether good or evil, bears fruit. There is no
kamma, no matter how small, which is void of fruit.”3


http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/good_evil_beyond.pdf


:anjali:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

User avatar
Lucas Oliveira
Posts: 732
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:07 pm

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:12 pm

In any case, the mental results of the law of kamma are usually
overlooked, so another illustration might be helpful:
There are many kinds of water: the water in a sewer, the water
in a canal, tap water, and distilled water for mixing a hypodermic
injection. Sewer water is an acceptable habitat for many
kinds of water animals, but is not suitable for bathing, drinking
or medicinal use. Water in a canal may be used to bathe or to
wash clothes but is not drinkable. Tap water is drinkable but
8 9
cannot be used for mixing a hypodermic injection. If there is no
special need, then tap water is sufficient for most purposes, but
one would be ill-advised to use it to mix a hypodermic injection.
In the same way, the mind has varying levels of refinement or
clarity, depending on accumulated kamma. As long as the mind
is being used on a coarse level, no problem may be apparent, but
if it is necessary to use the mind on a more refined level, previous
unskillful kamma, even on a minor scale, may become an
obstacle.


http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/good_evil_beyond.pdf


:anjali:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

binocular
Posts: 5063
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by binocular » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:22 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:37 pm
Does negative thinking matter? Does our life change when we become thankful for everything we have? Is there anyone here who changed their pattern of thought from negative to positive?
There are no grumpy arahants, are there?

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 3279
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:26 pm

I was going to post a chunk of MN 19, but I see Bodom has beaten me to it. So I'll point out instead that there have been lots of non-Buddhist systems for addressing or eliminating negative thoughts. REBT is one that I particularly like:
REBT (...) generally proposes that many of these self-defeating cognitive, emotive and behavioral tendencies are both innately biological and indoctrinated early in and during life, and further grow stronger as a person continually revisits, clings and acts on them. Ellis alludes to similarities between REBT and the general semantics when explaining the role of irrational beliefs in self-defeating tendencies, citing Alfred Korzybski as a significant modern influence on this thinking.

REBT differs from other clinical approaches like psychoanalysis in that it places little emphasis on exploring the past, but instead focuses on changing the current evaluations and philosophical thinking-emoting and behaving in relation to themselves, others and the conditions under which people live.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_ ... or_therapy
You have considerable power to construct self-helping thoughts, feelings and actions as well as to construct self-defeating behaviors. You have the ability, if you use it, to choose healthy instead of unhealthy thinking, feeling and acting.
(Albert Ellis)

I would add that for many people, stopping negative thinking is relatively easy. The difficulty lies in catching oneself doing it before it takes over (i.e. before the negative thoughts condition the mind into thinking it is powerless) which is why mindfulness is so important.

User avatar
Lucas Oliveira
Posts: 732
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:07 pm

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:56 pm

Verse 121. Take Not Evil Lightly

Think lightly not of evil,
‘It will not come to me’,
for by the falling of water drops
a water jar is filled.
The fool with evil fills himself,
he soaks up little by little.


Image

Explanation: Some tend to believe that evil can be taken lightly. There attitude to wrong-doing is that they can get away with anything whatsoever. They say in effect: "I will behave in the way I want. Evil results will never come my way." But evil accumulates little by little - very much like a water-pot being filled drop by drop. Little by little the evil accumulates, until he is filled with it.


Verse 122. Merit Grows Little By Little

Think lightly not of goodness,
‘It will not come to me’,
for by the falling of water drops
a water jar is filled.
The sage with goodness fills himself,
he soaks up little by little.


Image

Explanation: Some tend to think that virtue can be taken lightly, and that virtue practiced is not likely to bring about any spectacular good results. This view is not quite correct. The good done by an individual accumulates little by little. The process is very much like the filling of a water-pot, drop by drop. As time goes on, the little acts of virtue accumulate, until the doer of good is totally filled with it.

http://www.buddhanet.net/dhammapada/d_evil.htm


:anjali:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

SarathW
Posts: 9035
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by SarathW » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:59 pm

What is the Buddhist term for negative thinking?
I think it is anger or Ayoniso Manasikara. Ie: inappropriate
Attention.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3724
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:45 pm

Complaining Rewires Your Brain for Negativity
Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you.

And here’s the kicker: complaining damages other areas of your brain as well. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus — an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought. Damage to the hippocampus is scary, especially when you consider that it’s one of the primary brain areas destroyed by Alzheimer’s. (Travis Bradberry)
AIM ForumsPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

Digity
Posts: 1307
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:13 am

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Digity » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:03 am

It all comes down to neuroplasticity. Whatever mental habit you practice becomes more ingrained. If you keep indulging in negativity then it gets easier and easier to do it. Have you ever been around someone who is super negative? Did you enjoy it? Did it give you the sense that this was an "enlightened" person? The point is that negativity points in the opposite direction of liberation and release. So of course it matters and of course it's unskillful.

It's just so much easier to be negative then to be positive. Our brains our wired to see the negative more easily. Humans wouldn't have survived as long as they have, heck no animal would have, if they didn't notice all the negative stuff around them, which could kill them. Our brains are sensitive to negativity, much more than to positivity. So, don't beat yourself up over that tendency, but at the same time we need to be skillful in our minds.

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1813
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:30 am

Just thinking aloud -

After a through analysis of my thoughts today morning I find I have to do some sort of deconstruction of my mind and rebuilding it. I never feel much anger. I learned long ago it is a wasted emotion (please do not take my acting out in this forum to be an indication of my actual personality .. we are just disembodied electrons "talking" to each other while floating in cyberspace not actual human beings having a conversation over a nice cup of coffee and a cookie .. in real life, if we were sitting besides each other on a plane .. I would hardly ask why you say you are from Wichita, Kansas and not from Wichita, Kansas, U.S. .. nor would I bring up the topic of Brahman or anatta/self/soul if I was traveling with a committed western Buddhist convert)

I do however feel steady low level anxiety. I am not willing to spend money on counselors because I find their method annoying - tell me/speak aloud what makes you anxious .. why do you think you are anxious .. what do you think can be done to reduce your anxiety .. for at least a year while they drain my pocket and prescribe mind numbing medicines like prozac or zoloft. Intelligent people can analyze their own problems .. is my firm belief.

The question I have more generally is am I aiming too high .. have I always aimed too high when it comes to having a peaceful mind? What do we mean by a peaceful mind? Is it possible that I already have as peaceful a mind as possible in a householder's life due to meditation daily for about 3 years?

I do not bite my nails, I do not drink, I do not eat out of nervousness, I do not do anything anxious people are supposed to do .. I do nearly always have strange dreams for past 6 or so years about people and places I cannot recognize ..

Perhaps feeling steady low level anxiety is normal .. a survival tool.

The problem is the internet .. and on it there are people who create videos and write blogs setting impossible targets .. even impossible targets about having a peaceful mind

Is it possible for a householder to have a perfectly peaceful mind? Like a still lake .. or am I aiming too high? Maybe, I am already there but I do not know it yet (one of the pitfalls of not having a teacher; one has breasted the tape but does not know the race is over) .. maybe I am as peaceful as possible and just having OCD about the residual anxiety I have .. which actually maybe only 5% of the anxiety that normal people have.

---------------------------------------

Something happened yesterday evening .. about 12 hours ago.

I was watching the local news and found a woman had committed suicide by jumping from 18th floor of a building. This building/apartment complex is very upmarket .. very posh and near my home (600 meters away)

She was 45, lived with her parents and had never married. Her parents were wealthy too. She had rented this flat but never lived in it. That goes to show how much money she had to waste. I have never heard of people renting a posh flat but never living there. By profession she was a Chartered Accountant (same as CPA in U.S.) and a successful professional.

About 10 minutes after I saw her photo I recognized her .. she had matched with me on Tinder back in Dec and we had a short chat .. where, after she asked if I was single and which college I had attended .. she asked if I had a car (I said no I have 10,000 because I have the Uber app) and then she commented "you are too unsuccessful" and unmatched with me .. it had stayed with me because she was the only match who had summarily dismissed me because I did not own a car.

She must have had enough money to buy a Mercedes .. I can hardly afford to buy one wheel of a Mercedes let alone a Mercedes .. but she jumped out of 18th floor

I am n times poorer but very happy and functional (all this happened after I asked this question)

So perhaps I am not as anxious as I imagine myself to be .. who knows maybe after a year I will also have to throw myself out of 18th floor but right now .. today .. 11:20 AM IST Mar 19, 2018 .. I am feeling unusually alive

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

Meezer77
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 5:43 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Meezer77 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:55 am

It was a bit unkind and unnecessary to call you unsuccessful. I find that my mood goes low in the winter months, but if I take myself off somewhere sunny then I turn into a different person. Maybe you could try taking yourself off to the pool or the beach more often No Mind, much cheaper than therapy.

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1813
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:15 am

Meezer77 wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:55 am
It was a bit unkind and unnecessary to call you unsuccessful. I find that my mood goes low in the winter months, but if I take myself off somewhere sunny then I turn into a different person. Maybe you could try taking yourself off to the pool or the beach more often No Mind, much cheaper than therapy.
What is high summer to you is height of winter here. Right now it is a 100 in shade. We have three seasons here - hot (80-90), very hot(90-100), very very hot (100 plus)

I want to escape to Scotland :smile:

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:01 am

Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by seeker242 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:27 am

Negative thinking matters a great deal as negative thinking amounts to "inappropriate attention".
The Blessed One said, "Monks, the ending of the fermentations is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what? Appropriate attention & inappropriate attention. When a monk attends inappropriately, unarisen fermentations arise, and arisen fermentations increase. When a monk attends appropriately, unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are abandoned
"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is non-stillness of awareness. To foster inappropriate attention to that: This is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is the stilling of awareness. To foster appropriate attention to that: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.
Attending appropriately matters a great deal.
This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "With regard to internal factors, I don't envision any other single factor like appropriate attention as doing so much for a monk in training, who has not attained the heart's goal but remains intent on the unsurpassed safety from bondage. A monk who attends appropriately abandons what is unskillful and develops what is skillful.

Appropriate attention
as a quality
of a monk in training:
nothing else
does so much
for attaining the superlative goal.
A monk, striving appropriately,
attains the ending of stress

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests