Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

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hohohodam
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Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by hohohodam » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:14 am

I have a hard time maintaining it especially with the business of daily life constantly taking and carrying away my attention but I know mindfulness through mental labelling is very powerful.

Just like how counting your breath is seen as a way for beginner mediators is there a way for beginners to continuously mentally note every physical and mental phenomenon ?

I find it very difficult to maintain it unless everything else in my life is reminding me to do it, like when I am in a temple or at a retreat. Otherwise I constantly forget it.

Thanks !

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retrofuturist
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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:38 am

Greetings,
Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?. I have a hard time maintaining it especially with the business of daily life constantly taking and carrying away my attention but I know mindfulness through mental labelling is very powerful.
I would wonder why you're looking to continuously create mental labels throughout daily life. Has someone instructed you to do this, or have you just assumed it was a beneficial practice? It's worth noting, if such details are of interest to you, that the Buddha did not teach such a practice.
Just like how counting your breath is seen as a way for beginner mediators is there a way for beginners to continuously mentally note every physical and mental phenomenon ?
See: Pali Term: Dhamma-vicaya

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Paul. :)
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hohohodam
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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by hohohodam » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:29 am

Yes a theravada monk told me about being mindful through mental labelling

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by Spiny Norman » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:32 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:38 am
It's worth noting, if such details are of interest to you, that the Buddha did not teach such a practice.
I think there is a basis for labelling in the Satipatthana Sutta, for example:

"And how does a monk remain focused on feelings in & of themselves? There is the case where a monk, when feeling a painful feeling, discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling.' When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.'"
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

In my experience it can be a useful way of foccussing attention on different aspects of experience, and developing mindfulness. I wouldn't do it continuously though!
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Saengnapha
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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:50 am

hohohodam wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:14 am
I have a hard time maintaining it especially with the business of daily life constantly taking and carrying away my attention but I know mindfulness through mental labelling is very powerful.

Just like how counting your breath is seen as a way for beginner mediators is there a way for beginners to continuously mentally note every physical and mental phenomenon ?

I find it very difficult to maintain it unless everything else in my life is reminding me to do it, like when I am in a temple or at a retreat. Otherwise I constantly forget it.

Thanks !
I think the time you spend in quiet sitting and practicing mindfulness is a different kind of activity than going to work and dealing with the acitivities of daily life. Tranquility and insight meditation lead to a focused mind, not to labeling things. The labeling is just a helpful tool that one may or may not use. It's not necessary to take this with you apart from sitting time. I don't think I would be very efficient at work or in conversation with others if I was constantly labeling every subjective thing that floated through my mind. Think practically. The focus of attention on what is happening is the thing, not the labeling.

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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by paul » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:22 am

Quote: "And how does a monk remain focused on feelings in & of themselves? There is the case where a monk, when feeling a painful feeling, discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling.' When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.'"

Such singling out of part of the Satipatthana sutta’s (DN 22) directions on feelings is misleading, the comprehensive statement at the end of the section says:

“In this way he remains focused internally on feelings in and of themselves, or both internally and and externally on feelings in and of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, or the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, or on the phenomenon of origination and passing away with regard to feelings. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are feelings’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge and remembrance.”

Although the instructions include equanimity ('noting'), to focus on ‘the phenomenon of origination and passing away’ means more than equanimity is required. It means investigating what caused the feeling to arise, and if necessary, what is successful in removing the feeling. MN 101 explains that although mindful equanimity is , in some cases, enough to uproot causes of stress, it’s not enough in all:

“He discerns that ‘When I exert a fabrication against this cause of stress, then from the fabrication of exertion there is dispassion. When I look on with equanimity at that cause of stress, then from the development of equanimity there is dispassion.’ So he exerts a fabrication against the cause of stress for which dispassion results from the fabrication of exertion, and develops equanimity with regard to the cause of stress for which dispassion comes from the development of equanimity.”

There can be no specific guidelines for when equanimity will work in giving rise to dispassion ( and the use of equanimity has an agenda, it is never mere ‘noting’) and when the more active approach of exerting a fabrication (countering the feeling) is needed, as the success of these respective tactics can only be known through personal experience.

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phil
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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by phil » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:05 pm

I don't think the Buddha advocated anything like continuous mental labeling in the midst of busy daily life for lay followers, we had best see to our social duties and have good sila. We cannot perform our social duties in a warm and generous way if we are going around labeling. Yes, thanks to our daily reflections on the Buddha's teaching there will be more and more awareness of what one's mind is up to, and less and less following it down harmful paths. That is something to be very grateful for. And depending on our social duties, there may be opportunities for more intensive secluded practice that might involve teachers who advocate continuous labeling. Lots of mays and mights in the life of a lay follower when it comes to bhavana, and lots of musts when it comes to sila. That's the way I see it anyways, at this time.
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(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:49 pm

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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by Spiny Norman » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:41 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:50 am
The focus of attention on what is happening is the thing, not the labeling.
Yes, of course, the point is to be mindful of certain aspects of experience, not of the labelling itself. But in my experience labelling/noting can be a useful aid, rather like the way some people count breaths in meditation ( I don't! ).

I use labelling regularly ( though not continuously ), and I find it useful, though as you observed it isn't appropriate in all situations.
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Spiny Norman
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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by Spiny Norman » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:57 am

paul wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:22 am
Such singling out of part of the Satipatthana sutta’s (DN 22) directions on feelings is misleading, the comprehensive statement at the end of the section says:

“In this way he remains focused internally on feelings in and of themselves, or both internally and and externally on feelings in and of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, or the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, or on the phenomenon of origination and passing away with regard to feelings. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are feelings’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge and remembrance.”


I don't see why it is misleading. Labelling is an aid to this remaining focussed, etc.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
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bodom
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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by bodom » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:01 pm

When I practiced the Mahasi method years ago my teachers instructed that continuous mental labeling during daily life was only really possible on retreat. For the average householder with a significant other, kids and career, life moves too fast to be able to slow down enough to label all physical and mental experience. Some labeling might be helpful but in general bare awareness is most effective. Of course if your situation in life is such that you don't have many distractions, live alone, no kids etc. then one could increase there efforts to label as much as possible.

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alfa
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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by alfa » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:19 pm

Often we forget to be mindful.

So labeling helps us remember.

But doing it continually gets boring.

hohohodam
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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by hohohodam » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:36 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:49 pm
Thank you. I remember watching this before. But finding the answer when you have the question is pretty meaningful.

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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by one_awakening » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:39 am

There's no need for continuous labeling. Just bring your awareness to what is present.
"Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of the mind"

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Re: Do you have any tips on continuously mental labelling?

Post by denise » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:59 pm

lately realized these bad labeling habits were learned from older family members...never liked the feel of this kind of thinking even as a child....they were learned over years of exposure to these individuals....now choosing not to be like that....feels much better... :heart:

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